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Hints to Emigrants in a series of letters from Upper Canada
Our thanks to Rupert Speyer for sending this into us









           The following sheets are submitted to public inspection, chiefly with a view to inform and assist those who are desirous of emigrating to Canada. Many accounts have of late appeared describing this important and rising colony; but the traveller has generally described the route from Quebec to Montreal; from Montreal to Kingston; from Kingston to York; from York to Niagara; from Niagara to Amherst or Detroit, without ever having seen the back settlements. Now it is evident that, to the emigrant, these must be of the highest importance, because one or other of them will, in all probability, be in future his place of residence. The Military Settlements, particularly described in these letters, have had much of the attention and care of Government, and now contain a large and increasing population. It is hoped, the account here given of these settlements, will be of use to the British public, as it is the result of daily observation and experience. During a residence of six years, in which time the writer visited not only the whole of these settlements, but almost every other part of the province.

           The writer has no wish either to encourage or discourage emigration, being convinced that every person ought to judge and choose for himself. Success, in every part of the world, depends much upon prudence and good management. Those who emigrate with foolish and unreasonable expectations are generally disappointed, while those who make wise arrangements, pursue their object with persevering industry, generally succeed.

           That emigrants may be fully aware of the difficulties they have to encounter, an account of the voyage to Montreal, and of the journey to Perth, is also laid before them. Many expect, that when they arrive at Quebec the difficulty is over, but they may rest assured, that unless they are carried up the country at the expense of Government, their journey to their land, in the Upper Province, will cost them as much as their voyage. That all who are proposing, from good motives, to leave their native country, may be directed by the wisdom which cometh from above, and be enabled to bring health, prosperity, and especially religion, along with them, is the sincere wish of the AUTHOR.




           When I took leave of you, a short time before I left my native country, you requested me to write you an account of my voyage to Canada, of the new settlements to which I was going, and especially of the state of religion in the colony, together with any thing else that might appear interesting. Though this was delayed it was not forgotten, and I now proceed to obey your commands.

           You know that, in consequence of a petition addressed to the Associate Presbytery of Edinburgh, by a number of Presbyterians settled at Perth, in upper Canada, I was, early in the spring of 1817, ordained as their minister. My family having arrived at Leith, and all being ready for our departure, on Saturday the 5th of April, we proceeded to the shore with a number of our friends. A gentleman belonging to the customhouse, though a stranger to us, had the kindness to offer the cutter to put us on board the ship, which lay at anchor about two miles from the shore. She was called The Rothiemurchus, and commanded by Captain Watson.

           My reason for sailing from Leith instead of Greenock was this: I had been preaching in Edinburgh and Leith for some months before I embarked, by which I got acquainted with the owner of The Rothiemurchus, whose son was the Captain; and, expecting to be more comfortable, with him than with an entire stranger, I was induced to sail from this port.

           Our feelings at this moment may be more easily conceived than I can describe them. Leaving our native country, perhaps for ever - having a numerous family of young children - and going to a part of the world in which we had not a single acquaintance, were all calculated to produce serious reflections. Mrs Bell and the children discovered some emotion, but, upon the whole, they supported themselves under this trial of their fortitude better than I expected. Having taken an affectionate leave of our friends on the shore, we proceeded with a few who accompanied us to the ship. In half an hour we were on board. Here we found the Rev. Mr. Taylor and his family, who were proceeding with us to Canada.

           All on board was hurry and bustle, getting read for sailing. The passengers young and old, amounting to 105, were all on board. Some appeared lively and cheerful - some thoughtful and serious - while a few, by the tears which they shed, showed that they we're not leaving their country and their friends without a struggle. At five in the evening the Captain came on board, and gave orders to get ready for proceeding. Before six we had weighed anchor and were under sail with a fair wind. But in half an hour it came round to the east, and blew rather fresher; so that about seven we were forced to come to anchor, not far from the place we had just left.

           About half an hour before we sailed, a messenger at arms came on board with a warrant, to apprehend, and carry ashore, a man who had forgotten to discharge his debts before be came away. But, after searching half an hour below, with a lighted candle, he was forced to return disappointed. After he was gone, the man he had been seeking crawled out of the coal-hole below the lower deck, to the no small astonishment of his fellow passengers; many of whom congratulated him on his narrow escape from the hands of justice.

           We now proceeded to examine the accommodations which the ship afforded. These were not of the first order. She was fitted for the timber trade, and had no cabin except a small one on the quarter deck, called by seamen a roundhouse; but as there was a good deal of room between decks, and as we were not overcrowded with passengers, we expected, at this season of the year, to make a tolerable shift. Mr. Taylor and I had engaged a part at the stern, in which were the two windows which usually light the cabin. For this part we paid £120. The Captain had engaged to divide it from the rest of the ship by a temporary partition; this however he never performed.

           On each side of the ship were ranged two tiers or stories of bed-births; the passengers providing their own bedding. Along the open space in the middle, were placed two rows of large chests, which were some times used as tables, and at other times as seats. When evening approached, a good deal of noise and confusion took place before all the passengers were arranged in their births; and the Captain was obliged to interpose his authority, and to determine which bed ever one was to have. This was an arrangement which ought to have been made sooner, and the want of it occasioned much unnecessary trouble, both to the Captain and passengers. We now began to feel what it was to be at sea with so much company. The crying of the children, the swearing of the sailors, and the scolding of the women who had not got the beds they wanted, produced a concert in which it was difficult to discover any harmony. Its disagreeable effect was heightened by the darkness of the night, and the rolling of the ship; which, at this time, began to be agitated by a sea somewhat rough. I almost envied the happiness of many a poor but pious cottager, who, at that moment, at his peaceful fireside, and surrounded by his family, was worshipping the God of his fathers - a privilege which we could not then enjoy.

           Next morning, which was Sabbath, I got up at seven, and found that we were still at anchor. The wind was easterly, and blowing a fine breeze, so that numbers began to be affected with seasickness. I had agreed with both the captain and the passengers, that we should have worship morning and and evening every day, and preaching on Sabbath. This morning we met at eight o'clock for worship, for the first time, the bustle and confusion having prevented us the evening before. A lot of the passengers and sailors attended, and behaved with the greatest propriety, with the exception of two young gentlemen who were passengers, and two or three of the sailors, who were not a little amused with the idea of having worship on board a ship, and wished to turn it into ridicule. But as they observed there was a great majority against them, they soon composed themselves, and behaved like the rest.

           The manner of our worship, not only at this time, but during the whole passage, was this: A few verses of a hymn or psalm were read out, and sung by the whole assembly; a portion of Scripture was read, and then Mr. Taylor or I engaged in prayer, the one in the morning and the other in the evening.

           After breakfast I began to be sick; but, by the advice of a sailor, I took a drought of salt water, which operated as an emetic, and I soon got better. As we had made an arrangement for preaching twice every Sabbath, I was just about to commence, when the Captain requested me to defer it till the afternoon, as he wished the passengers' luggage put below and the decks cleared. With this request we found it necessary to comply. Most of the passengers observed the Sabbath as decently as circumstances would permit; but the sailors were hard at work, stowing away chests, or fastening them down to the lower deck, a good part of the day. But what annoyed us more than even this, was the arrival of boats from the shore with persons, who brought liquors on board, that they might have a parting glass with their friends. Of this the sailors were always sure to have their shares, so that before dinner-time, some of them were quite intoxicated.

           In the afternoon, the necessary arrangements being made, Mr. Taylor preached between decks. All the passengers, and most of the sailors, attended. Not an instance of levity was observed during the whole time, excepting in the conduct of the young gentlemen above alluded to. At six we met again for worship. The evening was delightful, and my feelings at the moment were such as I am not able to describe. The service in which we were engaged, the sight of our native shore, which in a few hours we were to leave, perhaps for ever, and the recollection that many prayers had, in the course of the day, been presented to God in our behalf both by churches and individuals, produced emotions of an unusual nature.

           At five next morning, we weighed anchor, and set sail with a fair wind. The morning was fine and the ebbing tide in a few hours carried us out of the river. During the day, the wind, though light, continued favourable, and we had, literally speaking, a pleasure sail. Every heart was light, every face wore a smile. Some were reading the books they had the precaution to take along with them; some conversing about their prospects in America, or the friends they were leaving behind; and, between decks, a part of young people were dancing a good part of the day. As we scudded rapidly along, the coast of Fife, with its numerous towns and well cultivated fields, was soon left far behind. About sunset we were opposite to Stonehaven, and before midnight passed Aberdeen; but as I had retired to rest, I had not an opportunity of seeing the Guid Town.

           On the following morning, which was the 8th of April, I was awakened at an early hour, by the violent motion of the ship, and an unusual bustle on deck. On getting up, I found that we were likely to have dancing enough against our will. A gale blew from the north-west, the sea roared and foamed around us, the passengers became sick, and every thing began to wear a discouraging aspect. As we entered the Murray Firth, things began to grow worse and worse. Both wind and sea increased; two-thirds of our people were sick, and in a very uncomfortable condition. Consternation and alarm were soon visible in every countenance; children were crying, and women wringing their hands, and wishing they had remained at home. What a a change a short time produces! Fiddling and dancing were never once proposed.

           The aspect of the sea in a storm is truly grand, though a sense of danger seldom allows one to contemplate it with leisure. Our ship had little ballast, and mounted on the waves like a feather. But sometimes a head sea broke over her with a shock that made every one stagger, and swept the deck of everything movable. The gale continued all day and about sunset it began to blow more violently than before. The sea roared, and ran tremendously high. The ship rolled so much, that we were often dashed from one side of our beds to the other, with great violence. She sometimes lay so long on one side, that I feared she would never rise more. Those who had young children, found it difficult to avoid crushing them to death in their beds. About midnight a woman lately married was taken with premature labour, and added much to the horror of the scene by her dismal cries. But before morning she was safely delivered of a male child, and in a few days was as well as before. The surgeon's situation, during her labour, was scarcely less embarrassing, than her own. He was several times thrown down by the violent motion of the ship, and at one time the birth in which she lay, went to pieces with a crash, which made some people think that the good Rothiemurchus herself had uttered her last groan.

           After a sleepless night, in which we received many a bruise, and uttered many a groan, the morning of the 9th brought us little comfort. On getting up, I was informed that a squall had carried away our main-yard, and damaged the rigging, and that we were on our way back to Leith to refit. The ship was going smoother, it is true; for she was going with the wind; but the gale was not in the least abated. What a sight was now presented between decks! Clothes, and vessels of all descriptions; spoons, knives, broken bottles, basins, and jugs, shoes and hats, with provisions of all sorts, were strewed over the decks, or lying in promiscuous heaps. At one time, when the ship lay on her side, several of the chests, though strongly lashed to the deck, broke from their moorings, and, in their progress downwards, carried destruction to every thing on which they happened to fall. The temporary births, made of rough boards for the passengers' beds, cracked so much during the storm, that many thought the ship herself was going to pieces. Every now and then we were alarmed by a sea breaking over us, and pouring down by the hatches, which could not be entirely shut, for fear of suffocating the people below.

           After breakfast, we left the Murray Firth, passed Peterhead, and proceeded to the southward. Having, arrived at the mouth of the Dee, the river on which Aberdeen is situated, the Captain directed the first mate to stand off and on, till he went ashore to try if he could procure a mainyard at that place. The wind was north-west, and the hills covered with snow; the weather was cold, and we were continually assailed with showers of rain and sleet. We could not meet for worship as usual, most being sick, and no one able to stand on deck. We had been told that a passage round the north of Scotland was generally disagreeable, but did not expect to find it half so bad.

           On the 10th, the wind and weather became a little more moderate. About mid-day, the Captain returned with a mainyard dragging behind the boat, and, as soon as it was taken on board, we bent our course once more to the northward. But the wind being still against us, we found it necessary to stand out to sea during the night.

           On the morning of the 11th, finding that we were a great way to sea, we put about, and stood for the shore, which, when we reached, we found that we had not advanced an inch to the northward. We were mostly all sick, and in a very uncomfortable condition.

           Next day we found things no better, the wind being still ahead. Many were sick; some were grumbling about the provisions; and others wondering at their own folly in leaving a comfortable home to engage in such a dangerous undertaking. But they were in greater danger than they were aware, for in the course of the day the ship had a narrow escape from destruction by fire. A party of the passengers found their own provisions. One of them was melting tallow in a pot, when it caught fire, and the flames rising to a great height, the ship would have been in ablaze, had not the Captain heaved the pot, tallow and all, into the sea. With this I shall conclude the history of the first week of my voyage, expressing my hope that it may afford more pleasure to you in reading than to me in writing. The recollection of the uncomfortable situation in which we were then placed, still presents a gloomy picture to my mind.


DURING THE NIGHT the gale having increased, we had, on the morning of the 13th, several squalls, which produced some alarm, though we carried very little sail. The wind being still from the north, the motion of the ship was violent and sickening. Though it was Sabbath, we had no sermon on board, the storm being so great, that no person could keep his place without holding fast. For myself, I was very sick, and compelled to keep my bed the whole day. Some were now, however, getting clear of their sickness, and able to move about. At sea it is easy to discover the natural disposition of your fellow-travellers. They soon lay aside all reserve. Our passengers were now seen in their proper characters. Some conducted themselves as seriously and consistently as the last Sabbath, while others were more profligate and regardless.

           The morning, of the 14th was fine, and I rose refreshed with a good sleep. The wind had fallen during the night,. the sea was becoming calm, and all our passengers were well, and hungry for their breakfast. This being dispatched, the Captain gave orders to prepare and rig our new main yard, a work which had hitherto been prevented by the storm. In a few minutes as many carpenters (passengers) as could get round it, were at work. About two P. M. it was finished, and in its place, and from that time till six in the evening we sailed with a fine favourable breeze. But when we entered the Murray Firth, the wind veered to the north-west as before, and began to blow a gale, so that we were obliged to stand out to sea during the night, carrying, very little sail.

           After a rough and tempestuous night, in which sleep was out of the question, we, on the morning of the 15th, tacked and made for the shore. On the appearance of land, it was found that we had drifted to the southward, and were still between Aberdeen and Peterhead. As the gale increased, we carried but little sail, and stood to the north-east during the whole day. The weather was cold and boisterous, and the sea running mountains high. We now suffered excessively, both from sickness and the rolling of the ship. No ease was to be obtained, either in bed or out of it; and we were often dashed from the one side to the other with the greatest violence.

           In the course of the following night the storm continued with unabated fury; our beds cracked frightfully; and every thing movable was dashed from its place. In the morning of the 16th we tacked and stood for the shore, or rather drove before the storm, for it had now become so violent that sailing was out of the question. Indeed not a sail was up, except a stay sail to steady the ship. But after all we could do, it rolled excessively; its side being exposed to a heavy sea, which frequently broke over it, and swept every thing movable from the deck. One of these seas had nearly carried a sailor overboard, but he got hold of something just in time to save himself. Two or three of the passengers had also very narrow escapes. I could have enjoyed the sublime aspect which the sea at this time presented, could I have obtained a firm station from which to view it, but the violent vibrations of the ship produced so much corporeal uneasiness, that the mind could enjoy nothing. The waves, capped with foam resembled hills covered with snow, and separated by green valleys. The storm continued all day, attended with hail and rain: the passengers spent their time below, some of them as quiet as possible, and others, either grumbling about the badness of the provisions, or groaning under the influence of uneasy feelings. The provisions, indeed, were none of the best, and produced much altercation in the course of the voyage. The bread, by the Captain himself, was admitted to be more than a year old, and the beef much older: indeed I have never seen any thing like the latter presented to human beings. The pork, however, was tolerable; and the oatmeal, of which there was a considerable quantity on board, was excellent. The first complaints about the beef were made to the cook, who was a cross, ill-natured, old man, and swore shockingly. He treated them in a very unceremonious way; and it was painful to hear the language used on the occasion. For some time after this storm of human passions, the old man would not allow the female passengers to approach the fire-place, to prepare food for their children, and kicked some who dared to disobey his mandates.

           On the morning of the 17th we found ourselves near a rugged, rocky shore, a few miles to the South of Wick, in Caithness. The wind having moderated the evening before, we had not only got a sound sleep, but advanced a good many miles during the night. A lot of us were free from sickness, and joy was visible in every countenance at the happy chance in our circumstances. I called the people together to worship, and we offered our grateful adorations to that Being who sets bounds to the raging of the sea, and hushes the storm into a calm at his pleasure. I bad been using every endeavour, from the first day I came on board, to get both the passengers and crew to leave off swearing entirely. Though the evil was not cured, it was evident that a reformation had taken place, or at least that some restraint had been imposed. I took this opportunity of impressing upon the minds of all, the folly, the absurdity, and the wickedness of profane swearing, and recommended, by every argument I could think of, the benefit of laying it aside at once. I reminded them of the disagreeable, and even dangerous circumstances, in which we had been placed for eight days past, and that something even worse might be awaiting us, if this vice should be still indulged. As a great majority of the passengers not only heartily joined with us in the performance of religious duties, but in every endeavour to promote improvement among the rest, our advices were not neglected. From this time forward none were heard to swear, except two or three of the sailors, and as many of the passengers, who seemed to be altogether incurable, at least by the means in our power. All day we continued beating to the northward, and at sunset arrived at John-o'-Groat's House, the north-east point of the mainland of Scotland. The tide not being favourable for entering the Pentland Firth, we resolved to remain were we were, and hang on the wind till morning. All this time the ruins of Johnny's far-famed mansion were full in view, on the side of a rocky hill near the point. The building seems to have been of small dimensions and only parts of the walls are now standing. it was resolved that we should proceed to Stromness, a port in one of the Orkney Isles, and there remain till the wind shifted, for it was now directly in our teeth.

           At three o'clock in the morning of the 18th, we left John-o'-Groat's House, and entered that sea of whirling and struggling waters, the Pentland Firth. Here the tide runs with inconceivable fury, and having at this time to oppose the wind, the conflict was tremendous. After we had passed this dangerous strait, and got among the lands, the sea became more tranquil. In our course, we made many a tack, and were sometimes within the ship's length of the rocks; the wind blew a strong breeze, the sea foamed, and the rain fell in torrents; but both sailors and passengers exerted themselves so well, that, under the direction of the pilot, before noon, they brought the ship to anchor in a spacious natural harbour, in front of the town of Stromness. Some ships were here before us, and others came afterwards, all more or less damaged by the late gales. We were quickly surrounded by boats, eager to take the passengers on shore: being asked how much they charged, they replied sixpence each person; but a competition taking place, most got shore for a penny.

           Mr. Taylor and I went a-shore, and waited upon one of the ministers. He treated us with civility, but appeared rather embarrassed, and seemed pleased when we took our leave. We then took a stroll through the town, and purchased a few articles of which we were in want. Most of the houses are two stories high, are white-washed on the outside, and have a very neat appearance when viewed from the harbour. But we were much surprised to find that there was no proper street, and that the houses were not arranged in rows, but scattered about in all directions. The vacant spaces between them were mostly paved with flat stones, wheel carriages, till lately, having been unknown on these islands. Provisions of all kinds, and peats for fuel, are brought from the country in hampers on the backs of little horses.

           We next took a walk into the country, and called at several farmhouses, expecting to procure milk, but in this we were disappointed, for none could be obtained. No wonder. Not a blade of grass had yet appeared, and the crop of last year was all consumed. The cattle of all descriptions were in a very poor condition. Some were gnawing the moss which covered their barren pastures, and others picking up the sea-weed along the shore. The soil did not appear to be naturally bad, but the natives seemed to have made but little progress in agriculture, drawing the chief part of their subsistence from the fishing. Their ploughs were composed of two crooked sticks, put together in the rudest manner. Had we not seen them in operation, we should have supposed them useless; but they performed their work much better than could be expected. We saw no thorn hedges, and scarcely a shrub or tree of any description. The only enclosures we observed were near the town, and these were surrounded with walls of loose stones, or banks of earth. The only grain they were sowing was oats, and that of a very inferior kind. But ploughing was the principal field operation going forward, and this was chiefly managed by women, while the men were engaged in the fishing.

           The dwellings of the country people were for the most part very homely mansions, through the walls of which both wind and rain find easy access. Yet this free admission of the air does them no injury, as the fine fresh complexions of the natives bear witness. On entering a farm-house, we found a family, the very picture of health, finishing a dinner of fish and eggs. They had no bread, nor, as we afterwards learned, any thing to make it of. They invited us to a seat, with an easy frankness, which at once gained our confidence. We soon found from their conversation, that though they were poor, they were not ignorant. On looking round, we discovered that the family was larger than we had supposed. In one place lay a calf, in another a ewe with two lambs, and in a third a hen was laying with great composure.

           On our return to the ship, we found that farmers from a distant part of the island had been there with a supply of provisions. Fowls they sold at ninepence each, butter at ninepence a-pound, and eggs fivepence a-dozen. They had also a small quantity of milk, which they sold at threepence a-quart, but no bread could be obtained. Indeed, we were informed there had been very little meal or flour in the island for several months. This island, which is of considerable extent, is called the Mainland of Orkney. It was formerly called Pomona, in honour of the goddess of fruit, but if her ladyship ever resided here, it must have been at some very remote period, as not a trace of her can now be discovered. Kirkwall is the capital, and is distant from Stromness nine miles.

           On the 19th, I made another excursion a few miles into the country, but the road not being good, I was forced to return. In two or three places I observed women carrying manure in baskets on their backs to enrich the land. This is a circumstance mentioned by several writers, but I considered it a joke. Most of the people I met were stout, active, and fair complexioned. As I passed the church-yard, I stepped in to look at the monuments of the dead. While thus employed, I was joined by the clergyman. He seemed to be very sensible and intelligent, as most of the Scottish clergy are. We took a walk along the shore together, and when we parted, he invited the Captain and me to call upon him at the manse on the following evening.

           On returning to the ship, I found that the repairs and watering were nearly completed, but the wind being still unfavourable, we could not move. About twenty other vessels were now at anchor near us, all repairing the injuries they had sustained from the storm.


THE 20TH OF April being Sabbath, we requested the Captain not to permit any work to be done on board, excepting what was absolutely necessary. With this request he complied. I preached in the forenoon and Mr. Taylor in the afternoon, when all the passengers and crew attended. In the evening, the captain and I went ashore to wait upon the minister, according to his request. He met us at the door, and conducted us into the garden, where, though there was nothing to be seen, he kept us waiting till we were shivering with cold. At last he conducted us into the house, where we were received by his wife and some other ladies, who were visitors, in a very stiff and formal manner. The family was large, and four or five children present were so unruly and noisy that we could seldom hear one another speak. In a short time tea was served up with great ceremony, but I observed with regret that the good old custom, generally followed in Scotland, of asking a blessing on the refreshment we were to receive, was dispensed with.

           I had gone in the expectation of spending the evening in an agreeable manner, but the conversation was so trifling that I felt not at all comfortable. Several times I attempted to introduce something more suitable and serious, but it only produced silence. Between seven and eight we took our leave and returned, accompanied to the shore by a young surgeon, whose profane language was extremely disgusting.

           On the morning of the 21st I went ashore again, and had another ramble through the island, entering farmhouses and conversing with the people. They appeared to be poor, but cheerful and contented. In the mean time, the ship's boat was getting fresh water on board, which here is excellent. Springs flow from the hills, and every where fall into the sea in the purest streams.

           In the course of the night the wind having become more favourable, we prepared, on the morning of the 22nd April, for leaving Stromness. There was a shower in the morning, followed by a thick fog, which hindered us from putting to sea till the afternoon. In the mean time, however, we were employed warping out of the harbour, as the little wind we had blew directly in. Towards evening the fog cleared off, and proceeding to sea, we passed the Hoyhead in company with fifteen other vessels, most of them bound for America. After sunset the wind died away, and left us rocking among the waves, which still rolled in from the western ocean. All night it continued calm, but about midday on the 23rd a breeze sprung up. It was indeed in a wrong direction, but being now in the open sea, we had room to tack. All day we stood to the north. As the breeze freshened, and the motion of the ship increased, many became sick, and despondency again took the place of cheerfulness. An inquiry was set on foot to ascertain why the wind was generally against us. Some imputed it to the man who had forgotten to pay his debts, others to a party of smugglers who had escaped from the clutches of the excise, but the cook determined the question, by affirming in the strongest manner, that it was the unchristened child that occasioned our detention. Sailors are often very superstitious, of which we had a striking instance in this man, who appeared firmly to believe what he had asserted. The man, however, who owned the child did not ask for baptism, and, if he had, some proceedings not usual on board a ship must have been gone through. He was one of the smuggling party, was a desperate character, and it was discovered that he and the mother of the child were not married, though they had said they were when they came on board the ship. The wind becoming fair about sunset, we had a comfortable sleep, and all night ran seven or eight miles an hour.

           On the 24th we proceeded at the same rate. As we advanced into the ocean, the colour of the sea somewhat changed. Near the coast, it had a greenish cast, but in the ocean it had the appearance of a deep blue. About mid-day we passed the islands of Rona and Barra. We now found ourselves in the western ocean, and, what was worse, many of us sick. In the course of the afternoon there was much grumbling among the passengers about the provisions. A new act had been passed a few weeks before we sailed, providing that a certain quantity of butter, flour, and oatmeal, should be allowed to each passenger. None of these articles had been served out; and, the beef and biscuit being too long kept, the people became quite dissatisfied.

           On the 25th a rebellion was like to have broken out in the ship. The provisions formed the bone of contention; the Captain persisting in his refusal to serve out butter, flour, &c. according to the provisions of the act. It was ascertained, however, that before sailing he had been required to lay in these articles, and that they had been taken on board accordingly. One of the passengers produced a printed copy of the act, which he handed about among the passengers. A meeting was held, and a deputation appointed to wait upon the Captain and request that he would grant them the allowance provided for them by the legislature. But he denied that any such provision had been made, and threatened to make their situation much worse than it had hitherto been. They offered to show him the copy of the act which they had got, but he refused to look at it, and ordered them to leave the quarter deck immediately. This produced a serious fermentation, and some even proposed resorting to violent measures. These, however, were rendered unnecessary by our worthy commander's order, to serve out immediately a week's provisions, including butter, flour, and oatmeal. This not only restored peace, but gave general satisfaction, these articles being found to be of a good quality. At noon we were 220 miles west of the Hoyhead. The weather was fine and the air mild.

           A new difficulty arose on the 26th. The daily allowance of soup hitherto furnished, was withheld from the passengers, in consequence of their dispute with the Captain. Some of them went to him to remonstrate, but he not being in a listening humour, a serious altercation took place, and much threatening and abuse followed. I had been sick and in bed for some time, but after inquiring what was the matter, I went to the scene of action, and having learnt the merits of the case, proposed an accommodation, to which both parties agreed, and we had little more difficulty on that subject. The Captain, however, appeared to be a good deal mortified, and during the rest of the passage, he was more harsh and unaccommodating than before. This I considered very ungenerous, for though five or six of the passengers, the smugglers to wit, had treated him in a very unceremonious manner, yet the generality conducted themselves with a degree of moderation and submission that did them great credit. The proposal for having recourse to violent measures, they resisted with firmness, but in this, as in many other cases, the innocent were punished and the guilty escaped. From this time, the Captain seldom attended our morning and evening worship, some even said that he wished to throw obstacles in the way of others.

           Be this as it may, on the morning of next day, which was Sabbath, the 27th of April, the Captain ordered all the beds and bedding to be brought on deck and aired. As this was the first time such an order had been given since we left Leith, it excited both surprise aid indignation. The greater part of the passengers always wished to observe the Sabbath as it ought to be, and they considered this order as both unnecessary and insulting, as it seemed to be calculated to prevent our usual assemblies on that day. After some conversation, they requested me to speak to the Captain, and endeavour to persuade him to defer the work till another time; and to assure him that they would willingly attend to it on Monday or any other day except Sabbath, which they wished to devote to religious purposes. I delivered their message accordingly; but the captain, having taken at least his usual allowance of grog, was not in an accommodating humour. He told me that he was determined to enforce the order, as the act of Parliament required the beds to be aired, and it was usual to have it done on Sabbath. I observed, that it might be usual to have it done on that day, but, as another day would answer equally well, I thought it would be better to comply with the wishes of the passengers, and defer it till Monday. They were at that moment met for the purpose of engaging in our morning worship. It was my turn to officiate, and I proceeded to perform my duty. Worship being over, the captain came forward and made a speech, which was intended to remove our scruples. Among other things, he said, "I have had as good a religious education as any of you, although I have not always made a good use of it, and though I am not so well up to religion as you, (directing a look to Mr. Taylor and me) I know that airing the beds is a work of necessity, and I declare to God there is no harm in it." He then walked off, repeating his order to turn out the beds and air them. A few complied immediately, but the majority determined to wait till next day. About two hours after, the captain ordered all the passengers off the quarterdeck, swearing, that as he was master of his ship he was determined to have some respect shown him. Those who had carried their bedding on deck lost part of their blankets soon after, by a sudden gust of wind, which carried them overboard. This served as a warning to the rest who took care to have theirs better secured. Mr. Taylor preached in the forenoon, and I in the afternoon. In the interval the sailors cleaned the whole of the decks, and sprinkled them with vinegar. The cleaning of a ship is very necessary for preserving the health of the passengers, but surely this work might be performed on any other day rather than on the Sabbath. It is pleasing to observe the endeavours that are now taken to improve the moral and religious habits of seamen, for really many of them are very wicked.

           Next morning, the 28th, I was awakened by the rolling of the ship, and a strong wind blowing directly against us. We tacked and stood to the north, but the motion of the ship was violent and sickening. The sea was every hour growing rougher, so that few could keep out of bed; but in the evening the wind shifted to the north, and we got upon the right course once more.

           The wind was fair on the 29th, but light and unsteady. We went, however, six miles an hour all day. A large herd of porpoises passed us, tumbling along in a very odd manner. We saw, soon after, a few of the birds called Mother Carey's chickens. They resembled swallows at a distance, but were much larger. The day was fine, and every one cheerful and free from sickness.

           The wind was fair on the 30th, and we proceeded at the rate of seven miles an hour. There were plenty of gulls flying about us, though we were a great distance from land in every direction. At noon we were 751 miles west from Greenwich. At a distance I observed something floating on the water, and a number of gulls feeding at it. I supposed it to be a dead fish, or, perhaps, the body of some unfortunate seaman or luckless traveller.

           On the 1st of May, the wind again opposed us, and we stood to the north. Numerous gulls were flying about the ship and diving in the air, which sailors consider portentous of storm. The weather was cold and gloomy.

           May 2, The wind was still west, and blowing so hard that we could carry very little sail, and many were sick from the violent rolling of the ship. No sleep could be obtained in the night.

           On May 3, we had another storm, so violent that we could carry no sail at all. I have often heard of the sea running mountains high. The expression is doubtless a hyperbolic one, but if ever it could be used with propriety in any case I have witnessed, it might in this. The sea certainly had a frightful aspect. No provisions could be cooked or served out; but, indeed, eating with most of us was entirely out of the question. Here I will take the liberty of concluding this letter, which contains the history of two weeks of our voyage.


SABBATH, MAY 4, was perhaps the most dismal day we had during the voyage. We had both snow and hail, and the storm was so great that we could neither sit nor stand, and there was no alternative but to lie in bed. Even there no ease was to be obtained, for we were knocked from one side to the other till our sides ached. No cooking could be accomplished, and no provisions were served out, except rotten Dutch cheese, as bitter as soot, and bread partly alive. Luckily we had brought some provisions along with us, which were of immense service on these occasions. About noon the gale began to abate, though the swell did not, the aspect of the sea was at this time grand, to any who could contemplate it without terror. One moment we were placed upon an eminence, from which we could see in all directions the waves curling their monstrous tops to the sky. The next we descended into a gulf, which seemed opening its mouth to swallow us up. At sunset the wind was become quite moderate, but the swell was still prodigious. During worship I was thrown down by the rolling of the ship, but not hurt.

           After a very uncomfortable night, I had the satisfaction to find, in the morning of the 6th, that the wind was fair, and we were proceeding at the rate of seven miles an hour. This continued all day; the wind southeast, and still considerably agitated.

           May 7th - After a good sleep I arose in the morning much refreshed. Health is sweet after sickness, and rest after toils. For some days past I had not only been affected with sea-sickness, but in other respects was very unwell. Whenever we had stormy weather, or a head wind, as the sailors call it, I was affected with a qualmish sickness, a headache and an aversion to food of every kind; and these symptoms always lessened or increased with the roughness of the sea and the rolling of the ship. The best remedy I found was a little vinegar and sugar. Fourteen of our passengers found their own provisions. Hitherto they had the use of the fire for cooking, but they were now forbidden to come near it, the Captain alleging this was an indulgence he had never promised them!

           In the morning of May 8, we found that the wind was still fair, but very light. I was well and had a good appetite, the swell being now greatly abated. The day was fine, and the sun shone bright. About noon we passed a quart bottle floating on the water. Perhaps it was the bearer of a letter, but we could not persuade the Captain to lower the boat and take it up, though we passed very near it. Our water for some time past had been very bad. When it was drawn out of the casks, it was no clearer than that of a dirty kennel after a heavy shower of rain, so that its appearance alone was sufficient to sicken one.. But its dirty appearance, was not its worst quality. It had such a rancid smell, that, to be in the same neighbourhood, was enough to turn one's stomach: judge then, what its taste must have been. I do not know what I would not have given at this time for a draught of good water. What we brought from Stromness was good to the last, but what came from Leith was now horrid. The stink it emitted was intolerable. Some said that its being put in port-wine pipes was the reason it was so bad; others, that Leith water is always bad after it has been some time at sea. But the boy informed us that it had been in the casks near six months.

           On May 9, we had a light west wind. Many of our passengers were seized with a dysentery, in consequence of eating putrid fresh beef; I mean some that was fresh when we left Leith, five weeks ago. They were not allowed to taste it till it was unfit for use, and then they were made welcome to use it. Three or four seemed almost in a dying condition, and were placed under the doctor's care.

           What took place on the 10th I cannot inform you, as I was too sick to get out of bed. It was a favourable circumstance, however, that Mrs. Bell was a little better, so that she could take care of the children. I would not be a sailor for the world. A quiet life, and domestic comfort, in the humblest cottage on land, are preferable, in my estimation, to the best accommodations at sea. The agitation, the noise, and the crowded state of a ship, are bad enough when one is well, but sickness renders them doubly disagreeable.

           On the 11th, a light breeze sprung up from the northwest, and we proceeded about three Miles an hour. The day was fine, but I did not enjoy it, not being able to quit my bed. Mr. Taylor preached to the people in the afternoon. As I grew worse and worse, the doctor attended, and gave me some medicine in the evening. Of the Captain I saw nothing; but Mr. Richmond, the first mate, paid me every attention in his power, as indeed he had done to all the family, during their protracted illness. But the water was now in such an abominable state, that our situation was very uncomfortable. I was told that two sharks were seen near the ship, and at some distance a whale was observed.

           During the 12th, the wind was fair, though light, and we sailed four miles an hour. Being something better, I sat up about an hour on deck. We passed a Danish ship from St. Thomas, the first we had seen since we entered the ocean.

           The wind was still fair on the 13th, and stronger, so that we sailed eight miles an hour. The day was fine, and we were visited by two kinds of birds, which I was told had been very rare for about a week past. The one was a large black kind, called by the sailors boatswains, the other gulls, which were fatter and heavier than those we saw on the coast of Scotland.

           On the 14th, the wind was so favourable that we ran a hundred miles in twelve hours. I felt considerably better; but some of the female passengers were seriously ill. The amusing phenomenon, produced by the dashing of the salt water against against the bows of a ship, or any other opposing object, was seen to great advantage in the evening. The agitated water seemed to be entirely on fire, and produced a very fine effect. This was followed by showers of rain.

           On the 15th we were surrounded with fog, which indicated that we were near the banks of Newfoundland. We sounded, but found no bottom, with a line of 120 fathoms. Our progress was about five miles an hour. The fog made the weather cold and uncomfortable.

           At sunrise, on the 16th, we sounded, and found the bottom with a line of 70 fathoms. Two hours after we sounded again, and found the bottom at 43 fathoms, a coarse gravel. We tried to fish, but took nothing. At 9 A.M. a mass of ice appeared, just ahead, about two hundred yards distant. We instantly altered our course a little. The novelty of its appearance brought every person on deck, who was able to get out of bed. It was of an oval shape, and appeared to be half a mile in length. We had scarce time to look at it when another and larger mass was announced. It was as high as our top mast, and probably reached near the bottom of the sea. At a distance, it had much the appearance of North Berwick Law in East Lothian. In the course of the day we passed about thirty other masses, but none of them large excepting four. They were all moving to the southeast, with a velocity which showed that the current in this place is very considerable. The air was cold, and the fog prevented our seeing anything more than a mile from the ship. At 10 A.M. a whale was observed blowing within a stone's throw of our bow. The alarm was instantly given, but he disappeared so quickly that we had just time to see his back, which appeared like a black rock, before he went down. In five minutes he was observed blowing, about a cable's length from the ship's stern, but very little of him appeared above water. About noon we shortened sail, and again tried fishing, but were not very successful. After fishing three hours, with five lines, we had taken only twenty-two cod. These, however, filled a barrel, and afforded a very seasonable refreshment. The sea is here smoother, and of a more muddy colour than in the deeper parts of the ocean.

           On the 17th, being becalmed, we again tried fishing, but were not more successful than on the former day. We took only twelve fish. When the sun grew hot, the fog cleared off, and we had a very fine day. Two brigs were in sight. At a distance we observed a large mass of ice, which we had passed in the night unobserved. It had much the appearance of a great castle in ruins.


OUR RESIDENCE ON the banks of Newfoundland continued longer than we wished, for the fog was cold and we were heartily tired of a sea life. The wind was fair on the 18th, but so light that we advanced only about four miles an hour. The ship went so smoothly along that we could scarcely perceive her moving. Six vessels were in sight. As we approached the entrance of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, they became more numerous. As the fog, cleared off, we observed two large pieces of ice, that we had passed in the night. We spoke a brig, nineteen days from Cork, in Ireland. At that moment two whales were observed spouting the water to a great height in the air, where it appeared like a column of smoke. After spouting, they showed their tail, and a great part of their back, above water. After amusing us about half an hour, they disappeared. The day was fine, and the ship went so steadily, that we had sermon both forenoon and afternoon.

           The wind was fair and steady on the 19th, and we ran eight miles an hour all day; but the fog was so close, that, in the evening, we were obliged to shorten sail lest we should run among the ice, or upon the coast of Newfoundland, which we were every moment expecting to see. Our water was become so filthy that it was a punishment to be compelled to taste it; so that we were anxiously looking for the termination of our passage. After sunset, we sounded in twenty-three fathoms, on the tall of the Green Bank.

           On the 20th, we steered for the channel between Cape Breton and Cape Ray, in cold weather and a thick fog. Judging that we were not far from the coast of Newfoundland, sounded several times, but found no bottom.

           About ten o'clock on the 21st, we had a narrow escape from the ice. The wind being from the northwest, we were steering for the coast when we fell in with some large masses, about forty miles east of Cape Ray, as we afterwards learned. We put about instantly, but were so near them that it was with difficulty we got clear without damage. This moment the coast of Newfoundland was discovered, and we had it some hours in view. But, being entirely covered with snow, it had a very uninviting appearance. The surface of the island appeared to be rocky, rugged, and uneven; but we saw no hills of any magnitude. Neither trees nor houses could be seen; a dreary waste extended as far as the eye could reach. The shore was lined with masses of ice; and the cold was so intense that one could seldom remain more than a few minutes on deck. All day we steered to the westward, with a light northerly breeze, keeping the coast upon our right. In the afternoon the sky was clear, and the sun shone bright, but it was still very cold.

           At daybreak on the 22nd, we discovered the island of Cape Breton, distant only five or six miles. The coast, for several miles from the shore, was lined with field-ice, or closely compacted masses, which extended both north and south as far as the eye could see. The island appeared to be mountainous, rocky, and barren, and was partially covered with snow. The wind being northerly, it was very cold, and we made but little progress. In the evening the wind died away, and the air became mild and pleasant. During the day we had seen several whales, and one of them within fifty yards of the ship. Some of the passengers being still dissatisfied about the provisions, one of them filled a bottle with soup, which, he said, he would carry to Quebec, where he intended to make a complaint against the Captain, for the manner in which he had treated us. He said it was merely stinking water, in which stinking beef had been boiled, which no dog would taste unless he was starving. In the evening we were becalmed on a sea as smooth as glass. Twenty-seven sail of vessels were in sight.

           On the morning of the 23rd, we prepared to enter the Gulf of St. Lawrence, by a strait about five leagues across between Cape North and St. Paul's Island. Our course appeared to be blocked up, for many miles, with ice; but as we had now the assistance of a gentle Southern breeze, we determined to attempt a passage. Accordingly two men were stationed at the helm, eight at the bows of the ship with fenders, and the first mate at the mast head to look out for openings in the ice, and give directions. Thus prepared, we set forward, and soon discovered that what had appeared a close body of ice was merely an immense assemblage of loose masses, of all shapes and sizes, covering about half the surface of the water. By dexterous steering, and the calmness of the sea we got through in safety. No large piece struck the ship except one; and, though this knocked some splinters off the bow, and nearly threw us down with the shock, yet the fenders preserved the ship, that she received no material injury. Having got through this ice, which we were about two hours in passing, we reached an open sea, and the breeze increasing, carried us forward at the rate of eight miles an hour - a velocity which we seldom exceeded. But the fog soon grew so thick, that we could not see the ship's length before us. We had sailed two hours without seeing any ice, and were beginning to congratulate ourselves that we were out of danger, when the man stationed at the bow vociferated, There is ice a-head. At this time we were going before the wind with every sail set, and the sea running high. Everything was let go, and the ship was wore with the utmost dispatch. But a few moments necessarily elapsed before she could come round, and they were moments of awful suspense. We were within a few yards of a group of enormous masses of ice, like ragged rocks, which would have probably stove in the side of the ship if we had fallen upon them; but Providence mercifully preserved us, and we got round in safety. As the wind was blowing directly towards the ice, we found it difficult getting away, and feared every moment being dashed against it; but every one exerted himself to the utmost, and she was carried off without damage. For two hours we stood to the south, when the fog clearing off, and there being no ice in sight we resumed our course, and steered to the west till sunset. In the evening the fog having returned, the Captain determined to lie to all night, lest we should again fall in with ice. When we entered among the ice in the morning, I forgot to tell you, we saw several of the masses entirely covered with sea birds; on others, seals were lying looking like shipwrecked mariners.

           May 25 - A day or two before we left Leith, our worthy captain wrote and published his "General Orders", among which was the following: "I order that there shall be no insult or obstruction of any kind whatever, given by any person on board this ship, to the religious worship of those who may be so inclined; and I earnestly recommend to all on board to meet and join in worship with the Rev. Messrs. Taylor and Bell when requested by them". To the honour of his passengers and the ship's crew, I have to say, we received neither insult nor obstruction from any of them. The evening being fine, several whales were seen spouting near us. They are very numerous in the Gulf. They, and I suppose all we saw on the passage, were of the kind called finners by the sailors. They are seldom attacked by whalers, their large fins being dangerous weapons. But finners were not the only monsters of the deep we saw in this place. At some distance I observed two large white porpoises playing. They frequently raised their tails ten or twelve feet in the air, and then lashed them in the water, raising the spray to a great height, like a shower of rain. They appeared to be remarkably white, and swift in their motions. Soon after they first appeared, one of them was observed fighting with another of a similar form, but different colour, being quite black. They sometimes raised their heads several yards above water, and appeared to be tearing one another like two dogs The black and white species, we were told, have great antipathy at one another. During the day the wind had been against us, but while we were engaged in worship, in the evening, it became fair, and we pursued our course rapidly all night.

           At four o'clock on the morning of the 26th, we passed Cape Rosiers, and approached the Continent of America. The shore is bold, and covered with wood, to the water's edge, but the snow still lay among the trees. It was cold, and winter did not seem to have taken its leave. About noon the wind became squally, and shifted to the west. This soon brought sickness, and a violent headache to many of us; for the ship was rather tumbling among the waves than sailing. In the ocean we had seen much larger waves, but never a more stormy and boisterous sea. The squall came so suddenly that it carried away the maintop mast of a brig near us before her sails could be lowered. The river, or rather the gulf, at this place, is said to be 60 miles in width.

           The 27th we spent very uncomfortably, as the storm abated nothing of its violence. Not a sail could be set and we drifted to the eastward under bare poles, as seamen express themselves: most of us sick and in bed.

           On the 28th the wind became more moderate, so that we were able to carry some sail, which lessened the violent rolling of the ship. In the morning, we were near the Island of Anticosti, but did not see it, being very sick. The situation of my family at this time gave me no little uneasiness; most of them being so reduced by protracted sickness, as to be unable to come out of bed even in fine weather. One of the boys was nearly blind, and we were much alarmed lest he should become entirely so.

           On the 29th, though the wind was still west, we made some progress. The weather was excessively cold, and the snow in the woods gave the country a very unpromising appearance. Both shores were in sight, but they were uninhabited, hilly and covered with wood. At noon we were close to the south shore. The hills appeared to be composed of sand or soft sand-stone. On our next tack, we observed a small boat at a distance, and supposing it contained a pilot, we shortened sail till he came on board. Though this was 280 miles below Quebec, yet pilots often come so far, looking for ships. They are obliged to have their numbers painted in large characters upon their sails, as well as on their boats. The law does not permit them to come below a place called Feather Point, and requires them to take the first vessel they meet. But as their fees increase with the size of the vessel, they sometimes go beyond their limits, looking for a large one, and then they pretend they have been driven beyond their limits, contrary to their inclinations.

           Our pilot being taken on board, informed us that he had left the island of Orleans, where he had a farm, nine days ago, and had run the whole distance, 270 miles, in a small boat, carrying only two men. They lay on shore during the night and in their boat during the day. Having a good wind, they had run seventy-five miles the same morning before we fell in with them. They had a cask in the boat from which we tasted the first American water; and I call assure you that wine would not have afforded me half the pleasure. I cannot describe to you how filthy and disgusting our water had been for some time, but this was sweet and good. The pilot also gave a little maple sugar. In colour it was something like bees' wax, and in taste it resembled honey. His report of the dullness of trade at Quebec damped the spirits of our passengers, many of them being mechanics. In the afternoon several whales were seen, two of them of a very large size. They spouted the water at a great height in the air, turned up their tails, and roared so as to be distinctly heard on board the ship. When I awoke on the 30th, the ship was going steadily, so I concluded the wind was fair. On inquiry I found it was so, and that we were running eight miles an hour. About seven o'clock we passed Cape Chat, where the width of the river is not more than thirty miles, but a little higher up it widens to forty-five or fifty. At noon we were close to the north shore. The land here is more level than lower down, but it is still covered with lofty pine and other timber down to the water's edge. A brig near us pumped hard all day, having received considerable damage among the ice.

           On the 31st, the wind being still fair, we passed, at day-break Bic Island, and some time after Crane Island. As we approached the south bank of the river, we observed that the land was cleared and inhabited. The farm-houses were mostly painted white, and stood on a gentle slope, at some distance from the water. The neatness of their appearance, and the aspect of the fields, which were assuming a verdant hue, revived our spirits, and offered sensations no less new than agreeable. The sight of human habitations, and of people employed in the labours of the field, had never before afforded me so much pleasure. For some time the land appeared to be good and nearly level, but except here and there, where a small settlement is formed on the bank of the river, it is entirely covered with wood, for we were still 100 miles below Quebec. During the day we passed several very pretty islands in the river, but the villages scattered along the south bank chiefly engaged our attention. Most of these villages, which were at the distance of four or five miles, contained each a neat little church with a steeple the spire of which was covered tin plates: or white iron, which in the sunshine have a very brilliant appearance. The width of the river was no more than eight or ten miles, and being favoured by both wind and tide we glided along with great rapidity. At five in the evening we passed Goose Island, which is forty miles below Quebec, when both wind and tide failing, we advanced but slowly the rest of the evening. At dusk we dropped anchor thirty miles below Quebec. All were in high spirits, encouraged by the hope of soon getting ashore.


I DARE SAY you have observed that the prospect of accomplishing an undertaking one has long contemplated, fills the mind with peculiar pleasure. Though at this time a wide field of labour and difficulty lay before me, yet my feelings and expectations were of a very agreeable kind. Canada, to which my attention had been for some time turned, was now before me - my family were beginning to recover - and what was not at this time a trifling enjoyment, a draft of good water was to be obtained. On the morning of June 1, being Sabbath, we weighed anchor at three o'clock, and proceeded with the tide; but the wind being against us, we made only fourteen miles, before the tide turned, when we were forced to come to anchor, and remain till the afternoon. We had sermon as usual, but the fine day and the novelty of the scene around us, induced a few of the more irreligious part to absent themselves. About two o'clock a boat put off from the shore, and brought on board a large basket of eggs and the carcass of a fine calf, which had been killed about an hour before. The Captain purchased part of the veal at sixpence a-pound, and the eggs at a shilling a-dozen. The boat was manned by by six young Canadians. They were well dressed, and had an air of cheerfulness and comfort, which formed a striking contrast with the care-worn countenances of a great part of our population. We learned from them, that they were Roman Catholics, as indeed most of the Lower Canadians are. At three o'clock we weighed again, and the wind having shifted to the east, we glided up the south channel of the river, which is here about three miles in width. The Island of Orleans, which we were at this time coasting, is twenty-one miles long and three broad. The soil is good, and a great part of it is well cultivated. The south bank of the river also appeared to be good land, and it is studded all along with neat villages and still neater churches. The north bank, which we could see over the Island of Orleans, rises into hills, covered with wood to the very summit. At the upper end of this island we had a fine view of the Falls of the Montmorency, a considerable river flowing from the north, which here tumbles over a high rock into the St. Lawrence. At a bend of the river, a short distance below Quebec, that city gradually presented itself to our view. From its elevated situation, it produces, at first sight, a striking effect, especially to a stranger who has not seen it before. It stands on an extensive and rocky hill, the highest part of which is crowned by the fort or citadel. The side next the St. Lawrence presents a high and precipitous rock. But the north side slopes down gradually to the St. Charles, which at the lower side of the town falls into the St. Lawrence. The spires of the churches, and many of the roofs of the houses are covered with tin, which causes them, when the Sun shines to glitter like silver. Just as the evening gun was fired at the fort, we dropped anchor before the town. The water of the St. Lawrence continues fresh and fit for drinking about forty miles below Quebec and perhaps we never tasted a greater delicacy than the first we obtained. How many real enjoyments are undervalued, merely because they are common! A custom house officer came on board immediately, but we could not get ashore till next morning.

           At eight o'clock, on Monday the 2nd of June we got ashore, being the first time we had been on land for six weeks. Perhaps prisoners liberated from a dungeon never felt more joy on the event. The first thing I did was to purchase a few necessaries for the family. I then went to the Chateau, the residence of the Governor-General, Sir J. C. Sherbroke, and delivered my letter from the presbyter to his aide-de-camp in-waiting. He carried it up, and in a short time returned to inform me that His Excellency wished to see me. I was accordingly introduced, and was received with that politeness and condescension for which Sir John was distinguished. After a short conversation, he told me that I and my family should have a free passage to Perth, and referred me to Colonel Myers, the Deputy Quarter-Master General, to get the details settled. The colonel, he said, was with him when my letter was brought up, and had already received orders on the subject. Having thanked his Excellency, I took leave of him, and went to the office of Colonel Myers. He received me with the greatest politeness, and after making some inquiries, he requested me to call on the following day, when he would have matters arranged. I next took a walk through the town, and called on several persons to whom I had letters of introduction. The day was hot, and the fields were becoming green, though not a month before, carriages were passing the river on the ice. So quickly does winter depart when summer arrives! In the evening I went on board the ship, which still lay in the middle of the river. She had a quantity of gunpowder on board, and on this account was not permitted to come to the wharf till it was landed. Some Indians paddling about among the shipping in their canoes, were to us a great novelty, being the first we had seen.

           The powder being landed on the morning of the 3rd, the ship was brought up to the wharf, so that all the passengers got ashore. My family had been, for some days past, getting much better. Most of them were reduced to skeletons, and indeed I was little better myself; but, through means of better accommodations, and wholesome food, an improvement soon took place. About mid-day I waited on Colonel Myers, and got every thing respecting our conveyance to Perth settled in a satisfactory manner. By the time I returned to the ship, she had been entered at the custom-house, and during the rest of the day the passengers were busily employed getting their luggage on shore. Mr Taylor and family, with a great many more, went off to Montreal by the steamboat, in the evening. A few carpenters and masons remained and obtained employment in Quebec where they got from five to seven shillings a-day.

           June 4.- There are in Quebec two markets held every lawful day, one in the upper town, and one in the lower; but the former is the best supplied with provisions. The upper town stands on the top of the rock, and is all within the walls; for Quebec is a fortified town. The lower town lies along the bottom of the hill on the banks of the St. Lawrence and the St. Charles, which here form a junction. In the afternoon, being in the upper town, I took a walk round the ramparts with a gentleman to whom I had been introduced. As I had never before seen a fortified town, the various works were quite a novelty. Defended, as it now is, it would be no easy matter for an enemy to take Quebec, if the garrison were determined to hold out. This being the king's birthday, I preached at the request of a friend in St. John's chapel.The congregation was not large,but the singing was excellent.

           I was told, that during the day our ship's crew discovered a very mischievous disposition, breaking and destroying various articles of the ship's stores, and disregarding the orders of their officers. Since they came into port, the sailors have generally been half-drunk. The cheapness of spirituous liquors at Quebec, soon leads those who have a thirst for them into dissipated habits. Many a ship's crew exhibits an affecting view of human nature. At sea, the Captain is a little tyrant, and the crew little better than slaves; but in port the order is reversed. When hands are scarce, the least harshness or severity is resented, and they take the first opportunity of changing masters. About mid-day, a beautiful halo resembling a rainbow appeared round the sun. Here, as in other places, there are many superstitious people. Some said it foretold the death of the king, others a war with the United States. Some expected an earthquake, others the end of the world; while a few with greater probability, looked for a change of weather. This actually took place; for it rained all the following night.

           5th. The splendid and novel spectacle of the Fête de Dieu, is to be exhibited by the Roman Catholics on the eighth of this month. The 5th is the proper anniversary of that feast; but, since the English became numerous in the colony, the grand procession has generally been deferred till the following Sunday. Divine service was performed in the different churches; but I was in none of them except the French church. It is the cathedral; for there is here both a Catholic and a Protestant Bishop. It was crowded, and the congregation were all on their knees; some of them on the steps on the outside of the doors. They appeared to be very devout. Would to God they, were better informed. In the afternoon, I went a few miles into the country to dine with a friend. Here I was introduced to several serious Christians, whose company and conversation were quite refreshing. They afforded me much interesting information respecting the state of religion in the country.

           On the 6th, I called at the Quarter-Master-General's office, and received some papers and letters of introduction, which Col. Myers had promised to have ready for me. The rest of the day was spent in preparing for our departure. Mrs. Bell being so far recovered as to walk out, we spent the evening at the house of a friend who holds a situation under government, and from whose family we had experienced the greatest kindness.

           A great part of the 7th was spent in removing our luggage from the ship to the steam-boat Malsham. As it lay at some distance from the wharf at which we landed, I procured a boat, and conveyed our things by water, without taking them ashore. When I presented Col. Myers' order to the Captain of the steam-boat, he told us we might go below, and select our beds where we liked best. The size of this vessel, and the excellent accommodation which it afforded, surprised me not a little. The large cabin, or dining room, is spacious and well fitted up. On each side is a row of small rooms, each containing four beds in two tiers. There is a separate cabin for the ladies, which is fitted up in a very convenient and elegant manner. Very good printed regulations were exhibited in the cabin for the information of passengers, but they were not strictly adhered to. We were to rise at seven, breakfast at eight, lunch at twelve, dine at four, and sup at eight, &c. The provisions here set before us were not only abundant in quantity, but excellent in quality, and formed a striking contrast with those of the Rothiemurchus, some of which were by far the worst I ever tasted. About sunset, all being ready for our departure, we moved from the wharf, and proceeded up the river. For a few miles above Quebec, the banks were high and rocky; but the bell having summoned us to supper, we saw no more of them till morning. On going below, we found an extensive table furnished in a sumptuous manner, to which about fifty gentlemen and ladies sat down: the company was agreeable and polite, and all went on well till bed time. At ten o'clock all retired to rest, as required by the regulations, excepting four young gentlemen, whom I understood to be officers of militia: but perhaps I do them injustice when I call them gentlemen for as it afterwards appeared from their conduct, they had very little title to that honourable appellation. After the rest had retired, they began drinking, and soon became very noisy. About twelve o'clock one of them, whom his companions addressed with the title of Colonel, began to be not only noisy, but mischievous. He ran through the bed-rooms, waking up all the passengers as he went along,and inquiring if they had not seen a person whom he named. Whatever the answer was, he and his companions set up a loud laugh. Twice the Captain sent below to request them to go to bed, but without effect: at last he sent one of the waiters to extinguish the candles; but this did not mend the manners of the colonel, who now became more noisy than ever. One while he howled like a dog, another he mewed like a cat; one while he swore, another he sung hymns, which he said be had learned at the Methodist meeting. At last, about two o'clock, being tired of their frolic, they all went to bed, leaving no very favourable impression on my mind of the manners of Canadian gentlemen.


THE DISTANCE FROM Quebec to Montreal is 180 miles; four steam-boats were constantly employed carrying goods and passengers backwards and forwards. The passage upwards generally takes about thirty-six hours, including shore stay at Three Rivers and William Henry; but the passage down is performed in less time. The fare in the best cabin was three pounds for each person; but every thing necessary was provided: in the fore cabin; the passage was five dollars, and on the deck four, but without either beds or provisions. Since that time the number of steam-boats has been increased, and the fare has been considerably reduced; the mail, for a number of years past, has been carried by this conveyance but I must resume my narrative.

           At seven o'clock on the morning of Sabbath, the 8th of June, on going upon deck, I found that we were about fifty miles above Quebec. The river was about a mile across, the banks low, and the soil sandy. Along the shore I perceived a few scattered huts, but scarcely any signs of cultivation. After breakfast two gentlemen came to me and said, as they understood that I was a clergyman, the passengers wished to have prayers and a sermon, and hoped that I would have no objection. With their request, I complied and preached in the large cabin to about seventy or eighty people. The young bucks, who gave us so much trouble the evening before, did not behave very well at first, but finding the rest did not countenance their levity, they laid it aside. With regard to the rest, I have seldom had a more attentive audience.

           About three o'clock we reached the town of Three Rivers, which is situated half way between Quebec and Montreal, being ninety miles distant from each. It appeared to contain about 3000 or 4000 inhabitants, two churches, and a number of other good buildings. It stands on a plain, near the mouth of three rivers, from which circumstance it derives its name. One of these is called the Black River, because its water is darker than that of the St. Lawrence. This noble river seems to disdain the company of its dirty companion, for they flow side by side for some distance before they intermingle.

           At Three Rivers the mail and a number of passengers were landed; others were taken on board, and a quantity of goods was put into batteaux, in order to be sent ashore. Many well dressed people were walking on the beach, and the Sabbath appeared to be rather considered a day for amusement than any thing else. The tide sometimes flows up to this place, but seldom beyond it. Every thing being in readiness, we started again for Montreal. At four o'clock we sat down to an excellent dinner, in the preparation of which no expense had been spared. In the dessert, raisins and almonds were served up in profusion. We were now in Lake St. Peter, which is said to be thirty miles in length, and sixteen in breadth. It is so shallow, that vessels often get on the way to Montreal. Near the middle of the lake, we passed a vessel from Greenock with a cargo of coals. She had got a-ground, and was putting part of her cargo on board another vessel.

           June 9 - Next morning, when I got up, we were only sixteen miles from Montreal, and the country on both banks of the river was delightful. By the time breakfast was over, we had reached the foot of the current St. Mary: a team of horses assisted in dragging up the boat, and we soon found ourselves before the city of Montreal, which, being built upon a plain, is not seen to an advantage at a distance. Its interior is, however, every way agreeable, for it contains many elegant buildings, wealthy merchants, and hospitable inhabitants: it struck me as somewhat strange, that though Montreal carries on commerce to a great extent, it has neither quay nor wharf for the shipping. On getting ashore, by means of a gangway, I went immediately to Mr. Clarke, the Deputy Commissary-General, with the order I had received from Colonel Myers. This gentleman behaved to me with great civility, and immediately gave me an order directed to the Commissary of Transports, for the carriages necessary to convey in family and baggage to La Chine: but as it just then began to rain, I determined to defer my departure till another day. We spent the afternoon at the Rev. Mr. Easton's, from whose family we experienced every attention in their power to bestow. In the evening, accompanied by Mr. Easton, I waited upon several gentlemen, to whom I had letters of introduction, and from whom I experienced many civilities.

           June 10 - As the rain still continued, we could not proceed on our journey; but, as the steam-boat was about to return to Quebec, it was necessary to have our baggage landed. This was attended with no little trouble and damage, both from the state of the weather, and the awkwardness of the Canadian carters, who are certainly the most ruthless race of beings I have ever met with. In rainy weather the streets of Montreal are very muddy, especially in the suburbs, where they are not paved: on the shore, where there is.neither paving nor wharf, the mud was ankle deep.

           Montreal contains near 30,000 inhabitants, about one half of whom are of French extraction: the rest are English, Scottish, Irish, Americans, &c. The English language is more frequently spoken than in Quebec, yet even here it is difficult doing business without some knowledge of French. The city contains many hansom buildings, and it is evidently making rapid advances in improvement.

           June 11 - The morning being fine, we were in motion at a early hour, for our journey. About 10 o'clock, as it had been previously arranged, the Commissary sent us five carts, and we were busily employed packing up and loading till noon, when we started for La Chine, which is nine miles above Montreal. We went by the lower road, which is on the bank of the rivers. The soil is a strong loam, and seemed mostly to be well cultivated. At almost every house there is an orchard, and the trees were now in blossom. The St. Lawrence has here many rapids, some of which produce a sound like distant thunder. The islands, too, are numerous, and all of them covered with wood. Though the road was none of the best, our carters trotted their horses most of the way with loaded carts. Though, at first sight, the Canadians appear smart and active, they are thoughtless inconsiderate people. If they are not carefully attended to, when loading and unloading, they often smash trunks and boxes to pieces without the least concern.

           On my arrival at La Chine, I delivered my letter to the Commissary, who immediately ordered a batteau to be got ready, and the baggage to be put on board; but as there was a strong westerly wind, we could not proceed till it became more moderate. The delay gave us time to see the village and the neighbouring country. The former contains only a few houses. It is situated at the head of the most dangerous rapid in the St. Lawrence, where the French, soon after they settled in the country, fitted out an expedition to penetrate to China by the west; and, from this circumstance, the place obtained the name of La Chine. Here there is a government store, and a great many batteaux, for receiving and transporting stores and merchandise to the upper province. Batteaux are large flat bottomed boats, drawing, when loaded, from eighteen inches to two feet of water, and navigated by five or six men. In still water they use oars, but in the rapids setting poles; and, where the current is strong, one goes on the bank and assists with a rope. In this way they ascend rapids, which a stranger to their method would consider impossible.

           June 12 - I had resolved to start at six o'clock next morning, but it was eight before the men could be collected; and even then they proceeded with reluctance, as the wind, though more moderate, was still westerly. Having ascended two miles with some difficulty, they landed, and refused to proceed any farther till the wind fell. This gave us an opportunity of making an excursion over the island of Montreal. In a wood through which we passed, we observed several species of birds which we had not before seen, some of them covered with the most beautiful plumage. A squirrel, also, which we saw skipping about amongst the boughs of a tree, was the first we had seen in a wild state. After dining on bread and milk at a farm-house, we returned to the batteaux, and the wind having fallen a little, we proceeded and entered Lake St Louis. Having passed several islands we entered what appeared to be a river, but which afterwards turned out to be a narrow channel between an island and the south shore of the lake. Here we met several rafts of timber passing down to Montreal. On the side of the next island we observed a farm-house; where, as it was now evening, we resolved to spend the night. The owner could speak no English, but he was very civil, and allowed us a room and a fire. As he could furnish no beds, we brought our own from the boat, and spread them on the floor, where we enjoyed a refreshing sleep. We had bread along with us, and got plenty of milk from our host, at two pence a pint, this being the only article of provision be could furnish.

           June 13 - At five o'clock in the morning, the weather being fine, we set out. After rowing two hours, we landed on a small island to breakfast. it was sandy and low, producing nothing but shrubs and grass, mixed with wild vines, which were now covered with blossoms. After another hours labour we landed on the island Perrot, which is the largest in the lake. Here we found wild vines, honeysuckle, berry bushes, and fruit trees, growing along the shore. At a small distance from the place where we landed, two men were ploughing, or rather attempting to plough; for their tackle was so clumsy, and their endeavours so awkward, that they appeared to us very unskilful at their employment. They had two horses and two oxen yoked to a great heavy two wheeled plough, which was almost load enough alone. This work, as might be expected, was executed in the very worst manner, and confirmed the low opinion I had formed of Canadian cultivators. The soil in this, and in most of the other islands in this part of the St. Lawrence, is a stiff heavy loam, like what is in Scotland called, carse land. Our next stage was to the Cascades, where there is a portage of five miles, the current being too strong to be ascended by loaded boats. There is at this place a short canal with locks, but they were at this time undergoing repairs. The person who has the charge of a batteau is called a conductor; and while ours was gone to the Commissary, to get an order for carts, two large American boats came into the basin where we lay, to land their cargo. The men were young and active; but their manners and language were both coarse and disgusting, and they swore most profanely. I confess I felt both mortified and disappointed; for, like many of my countrymen, I had imbibed a strong prejudice in favour of the American character, which at this first interview with them received a severe shock. A little red lead having been accidentally spilt on the deck, one of them painted his face with it in a hideous fashion, and began to dance and shout like the Indians. He was soon joined by his companions, disguised in like manner, and we had an imitation of the war-whoop and dance, unattended by any of their dangers; though, probably, the Indians themselves scarcely ever exhibited a more savage appearance than did the actors in this scene.

           While the conductor was gone to procure carts, I ascended a high bank, to enjoy the prospect of the scenery around me, and seated myself under a tree. I had not been long there, when my attention was attracted by the industrious inhabitants of an ant-hill, near the place where I sat. The whole community were busily employed, and might have afforded a useful lesson to the indolent part of the human race. Amongst many instances of sagacity, the following may be noticed: One of them was dragging the dead body of his companion, which probably had been killed by accident, away from the entrance of the nest. Having, with much labour and tugging, removed it to the distance of a yard, he placed it under some withered grass. Another was dragging a dead fly, far larger than himself, towards the hive, but having to carry it up hill, the labour was immense. In this way, however, he removed it more than a yard, proceeding backwards all the way. On arriving at the hole, the aperture proved too small to admit his prey. After making several efforts without success, other ants came out to give their assistance; but they were also unsuccessful. It was amusing to see how they skipped about, and discovered the greatest anxiety, when they found their efforts of no avail.

           After waiting about four hours, the conductor at length returned with a number of carts and we proceeded to load them without delay. The empty batteau was then loaded to ascend the rapids, by means of some of the men pulling at the rope on the bank, while the rest used their setting poles. I had no idea, till I came here, that the ascent of the St. Lawrence was attended with so much labour and difficulty. On reaching the village of Les Cedres, which is five miles above the Cascades, we unloaded the carts on the bank of the river, and, having covered the goods with a tarpaulin went to procure lodgings for the night, as we did not expect the boat would arrive before the morning. At the inn we found good accommodation, and were provided with an excellent supper, for which we were charged 1s. 6d. each. Being excessively tired with our exertions, and the heat of the weather, we enjoyed a sound sleep. The village of Les Cedres is about thirty-six miles from Montreal.

           June 14 - The men having arrived with the boat, we loaded it, and, after breakfast, proceeded on foot while they with great labour ascended other rapids which we had still to pass. About noon we reached Côteau du Lac, where there is a small fort on the bank of the river, and a short canal with two locks, which enabled us to avoid a very difficult rapid. Here we saw many large rafts of timber going down the river. The velocity with which they shot down the larger rapids was astonishing, and it was still more astonishing they were not dashed to pieces among the rocks.

           We now entered Lake St. Francis, which is about thirty miles in length, and fifteen in breadth. It contains several islands covered with wood. Soon after entering upon the lake we passed a place called Point au Boudet, which makes the boundary line between the two provinces. The county of Glengary, the residence of many Highland families, lay upon our right. The land is low and level, and must form a striking contrast with the hills in their native country. About dusk we reached the mouth of the river Raisin, and there being only one farmhouse near, to it we directed our steps. Here Mrs. Bell, I, and the younger children slept, but the rest, after supping on bread and milk, slept in the boat. The day had been very hot, and, after Sunset, the sand-flies began to be very troublesome. This is often the case at this season of the year, in low and swampy land, where these insects abound.


         GLENGARY IS AN extensive tract, inhabited chiefly by Scotch Highlanders, who, though they have been many years in Canada, not only speak the Gaelic language, but retain much of their original character and customs. About one-half of them are Roman Catholics, and the rest are Presbyterians. The former have two priests to instruct them in their duty, and the latter have three ministers, each of whom preaches at more than one place, their parishes being very extensive.

           June 15 - This being Sabbath, and a vacant church being at hand, I wished to preach to the people in the neighbourhood, but, the wind being fair, our Canadian boatmen would not stay. At Lancaster we stopped at a farmhouse to breakfast. The owner could speak very little English, but he complained, as well as he was able, of the poverty of the country. I told him no country could be rich under such management. Though his farm seemed to contain good land, all he could furnish us was a few quarts of milk, for which, however, he did not forget to charge us an exorbitant price. His agriculture was miserable, and every thing about the farm bore the marks of indolence and carelessness. The fences were in ruins, the garden was neglected, and weeds were growing up to the very door of the house. It did not appear, from the conversation of the people, that the cultivation of their minds had engaged more of their attention than that of their farm. I recommended to their attention the improvement of both, and especially that they should attend to the duties of religion, which I found were very much neglected among them.

           Our boatmen having procured a new supply of rum, took after dinner a little too much, and got nearly drunk. They then refused to take us into the batteau, telling us to walk on, as there were rapids in the way. We had already walked many miles, and were much fatigued with the journey and the heat of the weather; and as there was no rapid in sight, I insisted they should take us on board immediately. For the first time they began to be insolent, but I told them, if they did not behave better, I should report them to the Commissary on my arrival at Prescott, when their pay would be stopped. This had the desired effect, for they were very civil and obliging all the rest of the way.

           About three o'clock we reached Cornwall, a considerable village on the bank of the river, in which are two churches; the one belonging to the Episcopalians, and the other to the Presbyterians. The river for several miles contains rapids, but none of them very difficult to pass; yet, to relieve the men as much as possible, the male part of our company walked all the afternoon. At sunset we landed in a small bay, where the remains of the American army under General Wilkinson were embarked in 1814, after the battle of Crystler's Farm. Most of the children, as usual, slept in the boat; but the rest, with Mrs. Bell and myself, walked to the village of Moulin de Roche, about a mile distant, where we found good accommodation for the night. On our way thither, we saw, for the first time, fire-flies moving about in great abundance. They appeared like sparks of fire flying through the air: and, as we did not immediately recollect what they were, they surprised us a good deal. The appearance they presented in the dark was quite a novelty, particularly to the children. The sun during the day had been very hot, and, in the evening, one of the children complained very much of her arms being sore. Upon examining them at the light, I found the upper side of them was entirely covered with blisters. Not knowing the danger, she had gone with them all day exposed to the burning rays of the sun. After rubbing them with cream they were wrapped up, but the skin peeled off, and they were very painful for several days. On the islands in the river, as we passed along, we saw numbers of Indians sometimes in the woods, and sometimes fishing in the river.

           June 16 - Before six o clock the boat came up to the village, where it had some difficulties to encounter in passing a very bad rapid, opposite to the mill. Higher up, at another mill called Moulinette, there is another rapid still worse. There is a lock through which the batteaux usually pass; but at this time it was repairing so that we were forced to ascend the rapid. This we found no easy task, even with the assistance of a yoke of oxen, which we hired from a neighbouring farmer. This is one of the most dangerous rapids in the river, on account of the rocks and trunks of trees with which, in various places, it is interrupted. Every year both boats and lives are lost in it. Not a week before, a batteau going up with the King's stores, was wrecked, and, indeed the remains of the boat and part of the cargo, which still lay upon a rock, tended not a little to excite alarm.

           The oxen being yoked to a long rope, we proceeded but scarcely had we got into the current, when the boat swung round by the force of the stream, and grounded upon a rock. At this moment the dexterity of the Canadian boatmen was evinced. Two of them jumped into the water up to the middle, and by the assistance of their poles, got the boat afloat, and at the same time the oxen moving forward, it was brought up without any farther accident. If the oxen are trusty, and the rope strong enough, there is not much danger; but, if any thing fails, the boat is hurried down with great rapidity, till meeting with a projecting rock, or the trunk of a tree, it is dashed to pieces.

           This rapid being passed, we went to a farm-house on the American side, to breakfast. The owner was an American, and discovered a very gloomy and knavish disposition., He indeed made us pay twice the value of every article he furnished us. This gave another shock to my prejudice in favour of the Americans. The line which separates Canada from the United States, joins the river near the place; and all the rest of the way we had the State of New York on our left hand. Having passed some more rapids of less consequence, and several islands, we came to the foot of the great rapid, called the Longue Sault. Here we found it necessary to hire a team of horses, which a neighbouring farmer furnished for a dollar, to assist in drawing up the boat. At this place the water shoots down a shelving rock, with great agitation and noise, I suppose at least thirty feet in less than a mile; and from the vast body of water continually descending it presents a very formidable appearance. Had I not seen the batteau go up, I could not have supposed it possible.

           After passing this rapid, we had smoother water, and many islands to pass. As I wished to see the state of the country, I pursued my journey on foot, the road being on the bank of the river for many miles. The soil, in many places, was bad, and the cultivation worse. The land had been covered with large pines, which were cut about two feet from the ground, and grain sown among the stumps. In some places I observed that the standing trees had been on fire, the branches and bark were consumed, and the blackened trunks standing, like the masts of a large fleet. About seven, we reached a tavern near the church in Williamsburgh, where we remained for the night. Our accommodation was indifferent, though we were charged 2s. 6d. for supper and bed.

           I may here inform you how the boatmen are lodged on these occasions. After selecting the at which they intend to spend the night, they make the boat fast to the bank. They collect wood to make a fire and cook their supper. When that is over, they drink their grog, and go to sleep upon the ground, with one tarpaulin under them for their bed, and another over them, fixed in a slanting direction to send off the water if it should rain. They carry their provisions along with them, consisting generally of pork and pease. The are savage looking race, and are capable of enduring a great deal of fatigue. When seated round their fire, on the bank of the river, after the fatigues of the day, one while swearing and another while singing, you would consider them more like a band of robbers than any thing else. Being of French extraction, they are generally Catholics, and are very punctual in saying their prayers on their knees, both morning and evening; but they are no sooner done praying, than they begin swearing. I have even seen one of them stop in the middle of his prayers to swear at one of his companions, and then proceed as before. Their prayers were merely a form, which they repeated without any apparent concern. I tried to persuade them to leave off swearing, but they are so habituated to this practice, that they are not sensible when they do it. They were, in general, very civil and accommodating; one of them, as often as we slept at a farm house, carried our beds to the place where they were wanted, without being asked. The conductor understood a little English, but the rest were almost totally ignorant of that language. Great numbers of these men are employed on the St. Lawrence during the summer, transporting merchandise and other stores to the upper province. They are paid by the voyage, and are from seven to fourteen days going up to Kingston, according to the state of the wind; but, if this is favourable, they sometimes return in less than two days, the stream carrying them down with great velocity.

           June 17th - We roused our boatmen at five o'clock, being anxious to reach Prescott in the evening. The morning was cold, and most of us proceeded a few miles on foot. The weather, in Canada, undergoes very sudden transitions from cold to hot, and from hot to cold. The north bank of the river is here well settled, and cultivated for many miles. The farm houses are about a quarter of a mile distant from each other, on both sides of the road. The inhabitants are mostly Dutch and German discharged soldiers, or their children, who were settled here at the end of the American revolutionary war. They are still firmly attached to the British government, and armed readily in defence of the country in the last contest with the United States. When they were settled here, forty years ago, they had to grind the first grain they raised in pepper-mills, there not being a grist-mill within a hundred miles of them. Many of them were so poor, that they could not procure a cow, or even a sheep, till several years after their first settlement. Now, however, they have all the necessaries of life in abundance; and both saw-mills and grist-mills in their own neighbourhood. The wind being against us, and there being many rapids to pass, we did not advance so fast as we expected. I was not a little surprised that, notwithstanding the number of boats that ascend this river, there is no towing path at the rapids. Those who pull at the rope have to struggle through the inequalities of the ground the best way they can, sometimes in mud, sometimes among stones and sometimes up to the knees in water. In the afternoon, being on shore, my road at one time lay through a wood, in which were some of the largest pine trees I had ever seen: the trunk of one, which had been blown down by the wind, was about a hundred feet long, and more than five feet diameter at the lower end. At sunset we took up our lodging at a paltry tavern, seven miles below Prescott. The prospect of the St. Lawrence is here delightful: both banks are cultivated, and a long chain of wooded islands lies in the middle, extending many miles in length.

           June 18 - We got up at five, and proceeded on our journey. We found the river wider, and the current not so strong as lower down. About seven, we went ashore to breakfast at a farm house: the farmer was the owner of three hundred acres of good land, and yet the house presented a picture of wretchedness I can scarcely describe. The little furniture it contained was mere rubbish, and the clothes and beds of the family consisted of little else than rags; and yet, amidst these symptoms of poverty, there were silver spoons on the table. An hour more brought us to Prescott, which is a thriving village, and a port of entry, about half a mile from Fort Wellington. I went immediately to seek the Commissary, but he was not at home, having just gone to the country to breakfast. Being anxious to proceed direct to Perth, I went to him, having obtained information where he was: having found him, I delivered my letter, and expressed a wish to be detained at Prescott as little as possible. In the mean time, the batteau was brought up to the government store and unloaded upon the wharf, but our goods lay till evening before the Commissary found it convenient to come down to open the door to receive them. Waggons being scarce, I found I should have to wait some time; I therefore hired two rooms where we should remain, at two shillings a-day.

           June 19 - The Commissary having assured me that I should have the first waggons that could be got, I waited all day in the hopes of getting forward, but none came. I proposed sending for some, but to this he was averse: he said they never urged the farmers to go as this would make them extravagant in their demands, and they were so lazy that they never came of their own accord till the want of money compelled them.

           In the afternoon, I and a friend went across the river to Ogdensburg in the state of New York. There is a ferry-boat constantly employed at this place; the river is about a mile and a half across; at the landing place there is a large building for the storing of flour and other produce; and a little to the west are the ruins of a small fort which the British burnt when they took the town in the late war. A considerable river, on which there are several mills, falls into the St. Lawrence on the west side of the town. The houses are in general neat and well built; and the inhabitants seemed to enjoy comfort and abundance. The court house is a large building, three stories high: on the ground-floor is the jail, and apartments for the keeper; the second floor contains the court room, which is occasionally used as a church, there being then no building expressly set apart for that purpose. We met a man at the door, who, upon our asking admission, very civilly showed us the whole building. Upon learning that we were strangers, he conducted us to the upper story, in one end of which there is a free-mason's hall, and in the other several neat apartments furnished with beds. One of these he said we were welcome to occupy where we remained in the place: he at the same time offered to introduce us to some respectable people if we wished to remain in the town; we thanked him but declined his kind offer. We next took a walk through the town: it contains many shops or stores, well furnished with goods, but most kinds we considered dear, being twice as high as in Britain. In the evening we returned to the Canadian side of the river.

           June 20 - About midday two waggons came to carry loads to Perth, and we were in hopes of getting away but were disappointed; for they were permitted to choose their own loading, and they preferred government stores. After they were gone I learned that the reason they assigned for refusing to take my family and luggage to Perth was, that they heard that I was a minister, and expected that I would reprove them for swearing, a vice to which they were very much addicted. Indeed I found this to be the case with many, even of those from whom better things might be expected. While I was standing on the wharf in the afternoon, five batteaux came up, loaded with government stores. The storekeeper being present, gave orders respecting the unloading of them, which not being obeyed so readily as he wished, he got into a violent passion and swore shockingly. But recollecting himself, he turned round and said, "I beg pardon for being so unmannered as to swear in your presence." I replied, that it was certainly very unmannerly to swear in any one's presence, but he ought rather to ask pardon of God; for swearing in His presence, which was much worse than to swear in mine. "It is true," said he, "but these Canadians are such a set of brutes, that they would make a saint swear." Though he was sensible it was wrong, yet he had no sooner turned from me, than he began to swear at them as rudely as before. This is a specimen of the ridiculous conduct which a common swearer exhibits.

           The hatred existing between the English and Americans I found was not extinguished though the war was at an end. In the morning a desperate and bloody fight took place at the river side, between an American and an Englishman, who had agreed to give each other a sound beating for the honour of their respective countries. Such occurrences, I was told, are not rare though they proceed from no other motive than national animosity. The melancholy effects of the war are to be seen even in the morals of the people. Drunkenness and profane swearing are quite common, and even some of the females are addicted to these vices. Provisions are dear, and not easily obtained. This is the case all the way between Montreal and Kingston, a distance of 200 miles. Taverns are numerous, but most of them are of the lowest description in all respects except their charges, which are generally sufficiently high. The farmers, too, are generally rude in their manners, and many of them destitute of education.

           June 21 - Three more waggons came in the morning but they declined taking baggage, and loaded with stores. They said the road was bad, and a load of beef or flour was not so easy upset as lighter articles. The Commissary informed me that he had learned from a gentleman just come from Brockville, that my friend Mr. Smart had been waiting for me there two or three days. He therefore advised me to proceed and make arrangements for the accommodation of my family, and he would forward them by the first opportunity. Being tired of waiting, I agreed to this and set out immediately. Brockville is a thriving village on the bank of the St. Lawrence, twelve miles from Prescott. On my arrival I experienced the kindest reception from Messrs. Morris and Easton and their families. Mr. Stuart had left Brockville a little before, but Mr. Easton dispatched a messenger to inform him of my arrival, when he returned. Those alone who have been placed in similar circumstances can form an idea of the pleasure I felt on seeing my worthy friend after a separation of nearly ten years. Our first salutations were followed by many inquiries after each other's welfare. The afternoon escaped unperceived; but we did not part even at night, for I accompanied him to his own house which was five miles distant. How comfortable and refreshing is Christian society in a country where real Christians are not numerous! Never did I feel the observation more forcibly applied, "As iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." In the course of our conversation, I received much valuable information respecting Perth, and the people amongst whom I was going to settle. The prospect I found was by no means flattering; but if God is glorified, the kingdom of Christ enlarged, and sinners converted from the error of their ways, I shall not regret any personal sacrifices it may be necessary to make.


SABBATH, JUNE 22 - It providentially happened that Mr. Smart's new church, being just finished, was to be dedicated to-day. On our arrival at Brockville, the church was crowded, and worship began immediately. The Rev. Mr. Easton, from Montreal, preached in the forenoon, and I in the afternoon. When the congregation was dismissed several people from different parts of the country crowded round me, welcomed me to the province, and expressed a hope that I would make it convenient sometimes to preach among them. One gentleman, whose house was eleven miles forward on the road to Perth, said if I would stop with him all night, he would take me home in his waggon and furnish me a horse to proceed on my journey in the morning. Grateful for such attention from strangers, I gladly accepted his offer.

           June 23 - My kind host having furnished me a horse according to his promises I set out at an early hour, the weather being hot. About nine I halted at a paltry tavern to breakfast, where I had a good specimen of American rudeness. On entering the house I found the landlady seated at table, with three or four savage looking fellows, who appeared to be farm servants. They had no clothing on except woollen shirts and trousers. On inquiring if I could be furnished with breakfast, the mistress replied, with a very insolent tone and air, "Ye, I guess so: if you will walk into the other room, and wait till I have finished my own." I had forgotten the instructions that I had received. Had I seated myself at table, sans cérémonie, with the good lady and her servants, all would have been well. The tavern-keepers in Canada are mostly from the United States, and they seldom fail to resent the least appearance of superiority shown by travellers. Had I known of another tavern on the road, I would have proceeded; but as there was no other for many miles, I concluded it was best to walk into the log cabin, and rest myself till my saucy mistress had leisure to attend to me. After a delay of half an hour, breakfast made its appearance, consisting of rye bread, rancid butter, a stinking mutton chop, and tea sweetened with maple sugar. For this repast I was charged two shillings, which was sixpence more than the usual charge. After leaving this house, I travelled seven or eight miles, along a narrow path in the wood, without seeing a house or a human being, often in doubt whether I was proceeding in the right direction or not. The trees were large, and the soil excellent, and I would have been happy in the contemplation of the future improvements of the wilderness I was traversing, had I not been surrounded with clouds of mosquitoes, which stung me most unmercifully.

           Before entering the wood, I had left my horse at a farm house to be returned by the first opportunity. As I walked along on foot, a large snake glided into the path before me, raised its crest, and began to hiss. I had read a great deal about American snakes, and did not know but this might be one of a dangerous kind. I therefore thought it most prudent to avoid its company. I took a circuit round it, and got into the path on the other side. Looking back, I found it had faced about, curled up its tail, and hissed with fury. Not knowing what its intentions might be, I walked on to avoid farther inconvenience. At a place called Beaver Meadow, I found a hut, at which I procured some refreshment, and rested myself half an hour, the day being very hot. Proceeding on my journey, I travelled through seven miles more of a thick forest, when I came to the ferry where the Rideau Lake is crossed. This lake is near thirty miles in length, and varying in breadth from two miles to a quarter of a mile. On the banks of this lake I found several habitations; the people were kind; and, being fatigued with my journey, I was induced to remain all night; but my face and hands had been so much stung with mosquitoes during the day, that they now swelled and inflamed, and pained me so much that I could scarcely shut my eyes.

           June 24 - At an early hour I set out to finish my journey, and crossed the lake in a canoe. Perth was still distant about seven miles, and the road lay through the woods as before; but a young man accompanied me as a guide. The morning was hot, mosquitoes were numerous, and the journey fatiguing. At last, after many a weary step, an opening appeared in the wood, and Perth was announced. Fifteen months before, it was a thick forest, twenty miles from the habitations of men. Its first appearance forcibly reminded me of Virgil's description of Carthage, when Æneas visited Dido on the African shore:

                    Instant ardentes Tyrii; pars ducere muros,
                    Molireque arcem, et manibus subvolvere saxa,
                    Pars aptare locum tecto, et concludere sulco.
                    Jura magistratusque legunt, santumque senatum.

           They differed however in this, that in the African city stones were used in their buildings, while here timber is chiefly employed.

           Perth is pleasantly situated on both banks of the Tay, formerly called the Pike River. The length of the town is seven-eighths of a mile, the breadth somewhat less. The streets are regularly laid out, and cross each other at right angles at the distance of 140 yards from each other. Many hands were employed making improvements, and at least sixty acres were already cleared. About thirty log-houses were erected, and materials collected for more. The river runs through the town, and varies from thirty to fifty yards in breadth. At the upper side of the town it contains an island, measuring about ten acres, and connected with the two sides of the town by two wooden bridges. On this island the militia are annually mustered, on St. George's day. Near the centre of the town there is a hill, on which are erected the jail, the court-house, and two of the churches. The streets are sixty-six feet wide, and, by their intersections, divide the site of the town into squares of four acres each. Each building lot contains an acre; so that the gardens are large, and the houses at a considerable distance from one another. The town now contains about a hundred buildings, some of them finished in an elegant and commodious manner. - But I had forgotten that I was describing my arrival.

           Without delay I waited on the Superintendent, Captain Fowler, with my letters from Quebec. He received me politely, and said he would render me all the assistance in his power. In the mean time, he granted me a lot of land near the town, containing twenty-five acres. In the course of the day I was introduced to the chief magistrate, and a few of the half pay officers, many of whom are settled here.

           June 25 - After Breakfast I took a walk in company with two officers, to see the Scotch settlement. A line extending seven miles in length is settled on both sides by emigrants from Scotland. The land appeared to be good, and the improvements proceeding rapidly. In a new settlement, much labour and perseverance are necessary to cut down woods, build houses, and enclose fields; but here these are not wanting. The day was hot, and the mosquitoes annoyed us so much that we had not proceeded more than two miles when we were forced to return. In the evening, Mrs. Bell and the children arrived, together with three waggons loaded with baggage. We took immediate possession of a small log house I had rented for £20 a-year. This was double its value, but as it was the only place to be obtained in the village, I was forced to give what the owner demanded. It was indeed more like stable than a dwelling house; but as we were as well lodged as Our neighbours, we studied contentment. All the children, on their arrival, were shockingly bitten by mosquitoes, but we rubbed their hands and faces with strong vinegar, which considerably moderated the pain. In two days they all got better, except one of them, whose face was so much swollen that he continued almost blind for a week.

           Nearly twelve weeks had now elapsed, since we took leave of our friends in Scotland. The difficulties we had experienced in our way to this place, were numerous, but not more so than we had anticipated. With a family of six children, the eldest only fourteen years of age, we could not reasonably expect it to be merely a pleasure voyage; but, thanks to that kind Providence, which has ever preserved us, we all arrived in safety and good health. Thus, having obeyed the first part of your commands, I shall in my next proceed to the second.


IN THE YEAR 1814, the attention of His Majesty's government having been called to the tide of emigration, at that time flowing from Great Britain to the United States, the following plan was adopted to direct it to Canada. A free passage was offered to those who were disposed to emigrate to that colony; a hundred acres of land to each family upon their arrival, together with implements and rations, for a limited period, from the government store. The heads of families were to deposit, in the hands of the government agent, as a security for performing the conditions, £16 for the husband, and two guineas for the wife; but this money was to be repaid them two years after they settled upon their lands. All children under sixteen years of age were to be carried out free; and on their attaining the age of twenty-one, to have each 100 acres of land. In Scotland, about seven hundred persons, men, women, arid children, accepted these liberal offers, and in June, 1815, they embarked at Greenock, and sailed in four transports for Canada.

           On their arrival at Quebec, they were ordered to proceed up the St. Lawrence. It was the wish of the governor to settle them near Drummondville, in the lower province; but, as they were allowed to choose for themselves, they preferred the upper province, where the climate is milder, and the soil better. A few days stay at Montreal gave some, who began to be tired of the expedition, an opportunity of deserting it, and settling in that city; others went over to the United States. Both of these classes, of course, forfeited their deposit money; but that was now of no consequence, as they had obtained a free passage for themselves and families. The remainder of the expedition, having proceeded up the river eighty-four miles farther, landed at Cornwall, where part of them were settled on some vacant crown lands on the west side of Glengary. The remainder, to the number of sixty families, proceeded sixty miles higher up the St. Lawrence and landed at Brockville.

           Summer being already far spent, and some difficulty having occurred, respecting the place of settlement, it was determined that they should remain in the barracks at Brockville till the following spring. To those who had large families this delay was a serious loss, for though they received rations all the time they remained, yet they stood in need of clothing and other necessaries, which they could ill afford to provide. To those who had no families, and were willing to labour, it was an advantage; for they had time to lay by a little for future use, money being then plentiful, and workmen in demand.

           It was while the settlers remained at Brockville they prepared and forwarded a petition for a minister to be sent out to them. The plan they pursued, though good in itself, was connected with some unpleasant circumstances. Government had promised them a small salary for a minister and a schoolmaster, previously to their leaving home. The latter they had brought along with them, and now they proposed to send for the former; but, being connected with all the four branches of the Presbyterian church in Scotland, they could not, for some time, agree to which of them they should apply for a minister. This to them was in reality a matter of no importance, as none of those causes of difference exist here which divide Presbyterians at home. A faithful minister, of Presbyterian principles, was what they wanted, and the points on which they differed ought never once to have been mentioned. Unhappily, however, this was not the case. Disputes and contentions took place, the bad effects of which are felt to this day. After some angry discussion, a great majority of them at last agreed to apply to the Associate Presbytery of Edinburgh, and leave it to them to select a suitable person for their minister. A petition was prepared, signed, and forwarded accordingly.

           Early in the spring of 1816, they were directed to proceed to the place of settlement on the banks of the Tay. The townships of Bathurst, Drummond, and Beckwith had been surveyed, and were now open for their reception. In the adjoining townships of Elmsley and Burgess, which had been surveyed before the war, there was also a good deal of vacant land. A place for the government depôt and a town had been cut out on the banks of the Tay, forty-two miles north from the St. Lawrence. About the beginning of March the settlers set out for their new residence; but before they could reach it with their baggage, they had to open a road twenty miles of the way through a forest. Having reached the spot where the village of Perth now stands, they began to clear the ground and prepare for building. Some huts covered with boughs or bark were the first buildings they erected. The King's store, Superintendent's office, and a bridge across the Tay, soon followed. Those who wished to become farmers were settled upon their lands at once; but those who wished to settle in the village obtained town lots of an acre each, on condition of clearing them off and building houses. Every possible advantage was afforded them; every one, as he came forward, having a choice of all the lots that were vacant. Some, however, selected bad lots, either from want of skill or an unwillingness to take the trouble to go and examine the land. Colonel Macdonnell was then the superintendent, and the settlers often speak to this day of his kindness and attention to their interest, and the loss the settlement sustained when he left it.

           Before I proceed farther, let me tell something about the division of the land. A township or parish is generally about ten miles square, it is divided by lines into twelve parts or concessions, and each of these parts into twenty-seven lots; each lot containing 200 acres, except the last, which contains only 100. Ordinary settlers formerly received each 200 acres; but since the last war they usually receive 100. Every seventh lot is set apart for the support of the church, and is called a clergy reserve. The clergy connected with the church of England form a corporation for the management of these lots, and lease them for twenty-one years whenever they can find tenants: but as most of them lie waste, they are a great hindrance to the improvement of the country.

           Perth settlement being formed soon after the termination of the war with the United states, and at a time when a great reduction in the army took place, a great many discharged soldiers were induced to settle there. Indeed when I came to the place, not less than two-thirds of the population were of this description. The privates settled upon their land, but most of the officers built houses in the village, and tended not a little, by the politeness of their manners, to render a residence here desirable.

           It was expected that, in 1816, government would grant the same assistance to emigrants as in the proceeding year; and, under this idea, many had prepared to leave home. No assistance, however, was afforded them on the passage, but they obtained land, implements, and rations for one year, the same as those who had arrived before them. Accordingly, in the course of the summer the settlement received a great accession to its population both of emigrants and discharged soldiers. But provisions being enormously dear, and many being dissatisfied with the treatment they received from the new superintendent, left the settlement in the course of the following winter, and went over to the United States.

           When I arrived, June 24, 1817, the population of the settlement was as follows:

                                       Men  Women Children  Total

Emigrants                         239      111       366
Discharged Soldiers           708      179       287
                                        947      290       653    1890

           The implements granted to each settler were as follows: a spade, an adze, a felling axe, a brush-hook, a bill-hook, a scythe, a reaping-hook, a pitchfork, a pick-axe, nine harrow teeth, two hoes, a hammer, a plane, a chisel, an auger, a band saw, two gimlets, two files, one pair of hinges, one door, lock and key, nine panes of glass, one pound of putty, fourteen pounds of nails, a camp-kettle, a frying-pan, a blanket for each man or woman, and one for every two children. Besides these there were concession tools, which a number of settlers in the same neighbourhood had in common; such as a pit-saw, a cross-cut saw, a grindstone, a crow-bar, a sledge hammer, &c. An officer's allowance was just the above list doubled. But, indeed, the supply that any one received depended on how he stood with the secretary. Those who enjoyed his good graces obtained more, and those who had incurred his displeasure less. Complaints were often made, but they were generally unavailing. They were too numerous to be examined. Many of them were made without just cause, and those that were otherwise, seldom reached the governor; but, when they did, he never failed to cause the grievances to be redressed. Indeed, it is but justice to say, that government, both at home and here, have scrupulously fulfilled their engagements to the settlers, and even done more for them than was promised. It is true that the settlers have not obtained their deeds so soon as they expected, but it is hoped they will not be much longer delayed. The abuses committed in the settlement, I have reason to believe, were not only contrary to the intentions of government, but without their knowledge.

           The settlement was formed under the direction of the commander of the forces; and the expenses, which were considerable, were defrayed out of the military chest. The settlement was indeed entirely military, and the officers in charge of it have mostly been connected with that department. But while it was under the direction of a civilian, if I may be allowed to use such a term, the greatest abuses were committed. This man was as haughty and insolent to those below him as be was fawning and cringing to those above him. His conduct indeed was such that many good settlers, unable to endure his tyranny, relinquished their lands, and left the settlement in disgust. Hundreds, on their way to Perth, hearing how their predecessors had been treated, turned back, and went over to the United States. Instead of studying to advance the prosperity of the settlement, all his plans seemed to be formed to procure its ruin. Never was the insolence of office displayed in a more forbidding point of view. Rendered bold by impunity, he laid no restraint upon his malevolent disposition. He oppressed the settlers, insulted religion, and plundered the property of government.

           Little does John Bull know what rogues he sometimes has in his service in the distant parts of his dominions; and little did I expect that, under the British government, such abuses could so long escape detection. At last, however, the day of retribution arrived. Colonel Cockburn, under whose superintendence the settlement was then placed, came to Perth to see how the settlement was going on. On the following morning he ordered a court of inquiry to be assembled, pledging himself that, if the complaints against the secretary were well founded, he should be immediately dismissed. On examining witnesses, the principal of which were the clerks in the office, it was clearly proved that he had not only been guilty of abuse of power, but of embezzling king's stores, and of defrauding government of money to a large amount by false returns. But no immediate steps being taken to secure his person, be made his escape, and reached the United States in safety.

           During the year 1818, many of the settlers suffered great hardships. The crops of the two former years had not only been scanty, but the extent of land in cultivation was small. Their clothing, which is subject to much tear and wear in the woods, was greatly reduced, and the prospect altogether was by no means cheering. Numerous petitions were prepared and dispatched to the governor, praying for further assistance in rations. After some delay, half rations were granted to those who were in the greatest distress, and who had large families. This supply afforded a great relief to the settlement; but, as it was only to be continued till the harvest, that season was waited for with the most anxious expectations and fervent prayers. When it arrived, by the blessing of God, it brought plenty along with it. The potato crop in particular, was not only abundant but of an excellent quality, and formed the principal support of many poor families for the next twelve months. Some indeed had grain, but not being able to get it ground, some were forced to boil and eat it whole, others bruised it imperfectly between two flat stones; while a few, who could afford a coffee-mill, ground small quantities into meal by that contrivance. Since that time, provisions have been growing more abundant every year, and all who are industrious have more than they can consume. The first year after the settlement was formed, provisions of all kinds were enormous dear, and though they were nearly one-half cheaper in 1817, when I arrived, yet they were high in comparison of what they are now. The subjoined list will give you some idea of the rate of provisions, servants' wages, cattle, &c. in 1817 and 1823.

                                           In 1817      In 1823

 A barrel of flour                   14 dollars   4 dollars.
 A bushel of potatoes             2 do         1 shilling
 A bushel of Indian corn          2 do         2 do
 A bushel of wheat                 4 do         4 do
 Beef or mutton                      9d            3d
 Pork                                    10d           3d
 Butter                                 1s. 8d        8d
 Cheese                                1s.           6d
 Loaf sugar                            2s.           1s.
 Maple sugar                        1s. 3d.       4d.
 A man servant                    16 dollars   6 dollars

                                        a month     a month

 A woman do.                       6 do.       3 do.
 A good horse                   100 do.      60 do.
 A good cow                      30 do.       20 do.
 A sheep                             5 do.        2 do.

           Spanish dollars are the principal silver coins in circulation, though all kinds pass without difficulty. Halifax currency is the standard by which our accounts are regulated, and fixes dollars at 5 shillings; so that our currency is to British as 10 to 9, that is, eighteen shillings of your currency are equal to twenty of ours.

           From the low price of provisions, it is evident the farmer is but poorly rewarded for his trouble, even when he can obtain a market for his produce; but, as this is not always the case, when money is wanted to procure clothing or other necessaries for his family, he is often reduced to the greatest difficulties. Those, indeed, who are considerate and industrious, see the nature of the country, and manufacture their own clothing, thereby keeping themselves independent of the merchants, who, by the sale of imported goods at a high price, drain the country of cash.

           Could a few gentlemen, possessing spirit and capital, be persuaded to establish manufactories in this settlement, they would tend greatly to promote the prosperity of the colony. I have often wondered that nothing of this kind has been attempted. Labour, provisions, and building materials, are both cheap and abundant; and mechanics of all descriptions can be readily obtained. The first attempts at establishing manufactories in a new country must always be attended with difficulty and expense; but if conducted prudently and perseveringly they cannot fail to enrich their owners.


DURING THE LAST war with the United States, it was found that the transporting on of stores and reinforcements by the route of the St. Lawrence was attended with great inconvenience and risk. The south bank of that river being the enemy's frontier, every brigade of boats was continually exposed to attack unless strongly guarded. This circumstance seems to have suggested the necessity of but opening a safer line of communication between Montreal and Kingston. Various plans, were proposed, and for some time occupied the attention of government. At last it was resolved that the navigation of the Ottawa or Grand River should be improved as far as the Nepean, which is about 122 miles from Montreal; and that from the Point, or landing place there, a military road should be opened through the Richmond and Perth settlements, and from thence to Kingston. To the execution or this plan some considerable obstacles were opposed.

           The river Ottawa contains a long, and dangerous rapid called the Longue Sault, which neither boats nor rafts can pass without the greatest difficulty. This obstacle is to be removed, by building locks, and cutting a canal on the north bank of the river to the length of about twelve miles. This undertaking is now executing at the expense, and under the direction of government. About one-half of the cut is already completed, and is attended with very considerable expense, most of it being through a hard rock. When finished, it will tend greatly to improve the country; as, besides its original intention, it will a direct and easy communication between Montreal and the numerous settlements formed, and to be formed on the banks of this fine river.

           The military road from the Point of Nepean on the south bank of the Grand River to Kingston, is already opened but not finished. The distance from the Point to Richmond is twenty miles, from Richmond to Perth thirty miles, and from Perth to Kingston about seventy miles; so that the whole distance from Montreal to Kingston by this route will be 240 miles.

           To facilitate this plan, as well as to contribute to the improvement of the country, the military settlements of Perth, Richmond, and Lanark, were formed under the direction of the commander of the forces. Having already given you some account of the first of these, I shall now proceed to the second.

           Richmond settlement was formed in the summer of 1818. The 99th regiment being reduced that year, the men were offered a location of land in the usual proportions, if they chose to settle there. A great number of them accepted this offer, and were conveyed to the settlement at the expense of government. They were placed under the superintendence of Major Burke, and received rations for one year, besides the usual allowance of implements, &c. Some of them have become useful and industrious settlers, but, like other discharged soldiers, a great proportion of them left the settlement as soon as their rations were consumed.

           A more steady and persevering class of farmers was found in a body of emigrants, who, in the same summer, arrived from Perthshire, in Scotland, under the direction of a Mr. Robertson, who had previously arranged the terms of their emigration with Earl Bathurst. They paid their own passage to Quebec, but were conveyed from thence to their land at the expense of government. They were nearly all settled in the township of Beckwith, which lies about mid-way between Richmond and Perth. With good characters and industrious habits, they could not fail to succeed, and they now enjoy independence and plenty.

           The town of Richmond, which has its name from the commander of the forces, who unfortunately died near that place, is pleasantly situated on the banks of the river Jock, which runs though it, and falls into the Rideau, twenty miles below the town. It is about the same extent, and laid out something like Perth, but it does not contain so many houses. A few half-pay officers are settled here, who have contributed much to its improvement. In the town there is a government store and several merchants' shops; and about a mile higher up the river there is both a saw-mill and a grist-mill, the property of Captain Lyons. Richmond settlement, like that of Perth, contains much good land; but, being mostly level, there are several swamps of considerable extent. But when these are cleared, drained, and sown with grass, they will make excellent pasture.


THE SETTLEMENT AT Lanark was formed in the year 1820, under the following circumstances: the distress, arising from the want of employment and low wages, induced a number of manufacturers, mechanics, and others in Glasgow, Lanark, and other places in the west of Scotland, to form societies, and petition government to convey them to Canada, grant them lands, and assist them till they could raise a crop for the support of their families. The whole of their petition it appears could not be granted; but, through the influence, it is said, of Lord Archibald Hamilton, Kirkman Finlay, Esq. and other benevolent gentlemen, they obtained from government a grant of land, and £10 a-head in money, to assist them in settling themselves in Canada. Upwards of nine hundred individuals having accepted these terms, shortly after sailed for Quebec. In the course of the summer, a subscription of £500, raised in London, together with a smaller sum raised in Glasgow, enabled 176 more, who had not money enough to pay their own passage, to follow. On their arrival at Quebec, they were without loss of time forwarded to Perth, where the Earl of Dalhousie ordered them to be settled, in two newly surveyed townships, to the northwest of this settlement. One of these townships is called Lanark, that being the name of the county from which most of the emigrants came. It is watered by a considerable river, which now obtained the name of the Clyde. In a convenient spot on the banks of this river a village was laid out, and a government store erected. Captain Marshall was appointed superintendent of the new settlement, an arrangement to which it is indebted for much of its prosperity. This gentleman was not only distinguished for humanity, affability, and good management, but, in consequence of his long residence in the country, was well acquainted with the difficulties to which a new settlement is exposed. The other township was named Dalhousie, in honour of the commander of the forces.

           It was an unfortunate circumstance for these people, that they arrived so late in the season. Had they come two months earlier, they would have had good weather to go upon their land, erect huts and clear an acre or two for fall wheat before the winter set in; but the summer being over before they could make any improvement, or secure themselves from the severity of the weather, much distress and loss of property were the consequences. The prudent and industrious part of them, however, surmounted every obstacle, and are doing well. But the thoughtless and improvident part, of which the number was not small, squandered away the money they received from government, and spent their time in idleness, till poverty and want appeared, and awoke them from the dream of happiness and abundance with which they had been feasting their imaginations. They then discovered what they might have known before, that in Canada as well as in Scotland, they who will not work must not expect to eat.

           The accounts from the infant settlement, transmitted to the societies in Scotland, being generally favourable, thousands were anxious to emigrate; and, early in the following spring, made preparations for that purpose. A committee of persons of great respectability was formed to arrange the details of the business. They applied to government, and obtained permission for 1800 to go on the same terms as those that went in the preceding year. Upon examining the lists of the different societies, however, it was found that the applicants amounted to between 6000 and 7000. In the preceding year, many who applied in the first instance, found afterwards that they were unable to raise money to pay their passage, and other necessary expenses. The committee judging that it might be so now, did not use any other means for reducing the number, till they ascertained how many could comply with the terms proposed by government.

           Upon the presidents of the different societies making their returns, it was found that no more than 1883 had the means of paying their passage and other expenses. The necessary arrangements being made, this number embarked at Greenock in the spring of 1821, on board four transports, named the George Canning, the Earl of Buckinghamshire, the Commerce, and the David; and, after a prosperous passage, arrived at Quebec in safety.

           Great praise is due to the committee of gentlemen above mentioned, as well as to their secretary, Mr. Robert Lamond, for the pains they took to get the arrangements with government completed, and providing good accommodation for the emigrants on their passage, and at the lowest possible rate.

           This emigration produced very beneficial consequences not only to the emigrants themselves, but to the country in general. The distresses which the lower classes suffered had produced a spirit of discontent, which threatened to lead to very serious consequences. But the discussions about the advantages and disadvantages of emigrating to America soon engaged the attention of all who were not satisfied with their situation at home. Taxes and politics gave way to the more interesting subject of obtaining a freehold farm in Canada; and though the number that actually left the country formed but a small proportion of the labouring and manufacturing classes, yet those that remained found readier employment and better wages.

           The assistance granted to the emigrants by government, consisted of money, implements, and land. The amount of money was £10 each for every man, woman, and child. The sum charged for conveying them and their baggage from Quebec to Lanark was £2 a-head, but it cost government more, the distance being little short of 400 miles. Of the remaining £8, they received £3 on their arrival at the place of settlement, £3 more at the end of three months, and the remaining £2 at the end of six months from the date of their arrival. Each male settler above the age of twenty-one, besides a hundred acres of land, received most of the implements mentioned in the lists circulated among them before they left home; but their expectations of receiving potatoes, oats, wheat, Indian corn, beans, grass-seed, pine-boards, and paillasses, were not realised. What was the reason I have not been informed but the disappointment was not great, as the articles were purchased at a cheaper rate than that marked in the list.

           When the emigrants arrived at Quebec they were forwarded to Lanark without loss of time; and reached that place early in the summer. This gave them a great advantage, and enabled those who were industrious to get houses erected, and some improvements made upon their lands before the winter set in. But the season being uncommonly rainy, and they being much exposed to the weather, a few were carried off by dysentery, leaving families in very destitute circumstances. The benevolent, however, have used every endeavour to provide for the orphans in the best manner they are able. Amongst these, as amongst the others who came the year before, there were several idle and dissipated characters, who were not likely ever to make good farmers. But most of them have now left the settlement, and those that remain are in general actively and industriously proceeding with the improvement of their land, well satisfied with the change they have made.

           In 1821, the townships of North Sherbrooke and Ramsay were added to the Lanark Settlement, so that the settlers who came that year had the choice of all the unoccupied land in four townships. The soil is in general good, and, where properly managed, has produced abundant crops. Many of the settlers being brought up in towns knew nothing of farming, and had every thing respecting it to learn. But necessity is the mother of invention; and, under its influence, these people have made surprising improvements. The face of the country is more diversified with small hills than in Perth Settlement, but where the soil is not encumbered with rocks, it is equally good. A saw-mill and a grist-mill were erected near the village soon after it was laid out, and timber being abundant in the neighbourhood, one inch boards can be procured at six dollars a thousand feet. Other mills are now building in different parts of the settlement, and will soon be in operation.

           Lord Dalhousie, taking a deep interest in the prosperity of the settlement, and anxious to advance its religious improvement, wrote a letter to the Duke of Hamilton, expressing a hope that His Grace, or Lord Archibald Hamilton, would countenance a subscription in Lanarkshire, for the purpose of erecting a church for the use of the settlers. Contributions were made accordingly, and the sum of £290 Sterling was transmitted to Quebec, about the beginning of 1823. In March following, Colonel Marshall received orders to proceed with the building. Contracts were immediately formed with masons and carpenters, and it is expected the church will be finished in the course of the summer of 1823.

           Good roads and navigable canals tend much to advance the interior improvement of any country. The want of these as been seriously felt in the military settlements; but we expect that, in a few years more, the difficulty will be removed. Roads are laid out in various directions; they are every year undergoing improvements, settlers being obliged to labour for least three days every summer upon the highways. In winter they drive their sleighs in all directions, and lakes and rivers form no obstacle.

           A canal has long been talked of between the Grand River and Kingston, and we hear that it is soon to be commenced, surveyors being employed in examining the different lines in order to determine which is best. It is probable it will ascend the Rideau River, pass through the lake of that name, as well as some of the smaller ones with which the province abounds. Its length will not be less than a hundred miles, and will probably be to cut about half that distance. This undertaking will greatly improve the country, employ a great number of hands, and afford a ready means of conveying the farmer's produce to market. At present, rafts of timber and staves are sent down our rivers to Montreal; but the numerous rapids in the way occasion both difficulty and loss of property.

           The military settlements of Perth, Richmond, and Lanark, are all in the county of Carlton, which contains about twenty townships or parishes, most of them ten miles square. Twelve of these are already partly settled, and the rest will be located as soon as a sufficient number of emigrants shall arrive. This county, besides a fertile and well-watered soil, possesses many local advantages, being bounded on the north by the Grand River, and intersected by the Tay, the Mississippi of Upper Canada, and the Madawaska, to say nothing of innumerable smaller streams. We are now represented in the provincial parliament by one member; but, at the next election, which will take place in June, 1824, we will be entitled to two, as the county contains more than 6000 inhabitants.

           Although it is only seven years since the settlement at this place was commenced, astonishing improvements have been made. Many of our settlers, it is true, have gone away to other places, but they were generally those who could be most easily spared, and their places were speedily supplied by persons of a more substantial and industrious character. The woods are gradually disappearing, and luxuriant crops rising in their stead. The roads are improving, and the means of communication between the different parts of the country becoming every year more easy. The habitations first erected by the settlers were of a very homely kind, but these are gradually giving place to more comfortable and substantial dwellings. The military superintendence of the settlement was removed on the 24th of December, 1822, and we have now all the civil privileges enjoyed by the rest of the province. Perth is the capital of the district; and the courts of law and justice are held in the town. It contains a jail and court-house, four churches, seven merchants' stores, five taverns, besides between fifty and a hundred private houses. The houses are all built of wood. I except the jail and court-house and one merchants' store, which are built of brick. There is also a stone house erecting this summer, by one of our merchants. The villages of Richmond and Lanark are not making great progress; but this is not to be wondered at, in a country where all must live by agriculture. Unless manufactories be established, the population of our villages will always remain small. When strangers arrive at Perth, and compare the number of churches with the population of the village, they conclude that either we are a very religious people, or, in building them, have taken care to provide accommodation for our country friends as well as for ourselves. There are in the county one Episcopal clergyman, four Presbyterian ministers, one American Methodist preacher, two Roman Catholic priests, besides a great variety of lay preachers in the remote parts of the settlement. But as I intend to devote an entire letter, or perhaps more, to the state of religion, I shall not now go into particulars.


NEW COUNTRIES ARE generally settled by adventurers, with whom religion is not a primary consideration. Pious persons are seldom found willing to break off their former connections, and forsake the land where both they and their fathers have worshipped God. Persons coming from a country where religious institutions are observed into one where they are neglected, unless they have known something of the power of godliness, will feel themselves set free from restraints which were far from being pleasant. They will find the profanation of the Sabbath, and the neglect of religion, quite congenial to their unrenewed minds; and, if this is the case when they first settle in the woods, what can we expect when they have lived a number of years without religious instruction? May we not expect that depraved passions will be indulged; that vices will be practised with avidity, and that the future world will be neglected amidst the clamorous demands of the present? This we find to be actually the case in the back woods of America. It is true, there are few new colonies in which some persons are not to be found who feel the power of religion, but even they discover how soon evil communications corrupt good manners. Professing Christians themselves, where they are placed where no Sabbaths are observed, and no religious ordinances administered, soon become lamentably deficient in the discharge of Christian duties.

           Though religion in Canada is at a low ebb, it is evidently upon the advance; and when the want of faithful labourers in different parts of the country is supplied, by the blessing of God, we may expect a great reformation to take place. The people are not so destitute of speculative knowledge, as of moral habits and religious principle. I have met with many of the old settlers, who have lived from twenty to forty years in the country, and who could talk fluently, and even correctly, in praise of religion, and yet they would drink, swear, profane the Sabbath, and neglect the duties of religion as much as the most ignorant of their neighbours. Occasional instruction will not suffice: there must be line upon line, and precept upon precept before we can expect to see vice wither and religion flourish. Professing Christians must be collected into congregations, and superintended by pious, active, and faithful ministers. But how is this to be effected? The people are neither able nor willing to support ministers at their own expense, and there is no provision of a general nature made for them, either by public authority or private exertions. The few ministers that are here are making every effort to disseminate the good seed of the word, but what are they in such an extensive country? A hundred, or even two hundred ministers, might find ample employment in Upper Canada, had they the means of support. Previous to the late war, the number of ministers of all denominations was very small. Since 1815 they have greatly increased.

           The church of England claims an establishment here, and meets with a decided preference from the members of government. The bishop of Quebec has the oversight of all the interior clergy in both provinces. All the ministers belonging to that communion in the two provinces are missionaries from the Society for the propagation of the Gospel, and receive their salaries from the funds of that institution. You will be able to form a tolerably correct idea of the extent of their congregations from the following extract from the Society's Report for the year 1821, which is the latest I have at hand.

           "LOWER CANADA - At fifteen stations there are fifteen missionaries: One has £215; thirteen have £200 each, and one £100. The visiting missionary (Hon. and Rev. Dr. Stewart) has £300 per annum. Marriages 87 - baptisms 26 - communicants 210 - burials 57.

           UPPER CANADA - At seventeen stations there are seventeen missionaries: Of whom, one at York has £275 Sterling per annum, fifteen have £200 each, and one £50. The missionary at Ancaster has £20 in addition, as visitor to the Indians; and there is a schoolmaster to the Mohawks at £30, and a catechist at £10 per annum. Marriages 118 - baptisms 348 - communicants 118 - Burials 57."

           The Presbyterian church in Canada adheres to the doctrines, discipline, and mode of worship, of the church of Scotland. In the lower province there is one Presbytery, but it has not, of late, held any regular meetings. In the upper province there are three Presbyteries, which meet in general synod once a-year. The number of the congregations in the lower province, with which I am acquainted, is eight; namely, one in Quebec, which has been established many years, and is both numerous and respectable. The Rev. Dr. Sparks, their first minister, died in 1818. The Rev. Dr. Harkness, their present pastor, has been settled among them about four years. Two in Montreal, the one under the pastoral care of the Rev. Mr. Sommerville, the other under that of the Rev. Mr. Easton. They have both been, established a good number of years, but how many I have not learned. These three have all large and commodious churches, and support their ministers both respectably and comfortably. - St. Andrews, on the Ottawa, forty-five miles above Montreal, of which the Rev. Mr. Henderson is minister. The Rev. Mr. Taylor, formerly of Stenhouse, came out with me in 1817 as the minister of this congregation, but did not fix his residence among them. Mr. Henderson, their present pastor, (formerly of Carlisle,) came out in the following year, and has laboured successfully among them ever since. The congregation meets in the school-house in the village, till a more commodious place of worship can be erected. - At La Chine, nine miles above Montreal, a congregation was collected in 1817, by the labours of Mr. Kirkland, a young man who arrived in that year from Ireland. A regular call being presented to the Presbytery, they, in July 1818, ordained him to the pastoral charge. Mr. Kirkland, however, in the following year, not finding his prospects so encouraging as he expected they would be, left La Chine and went over to the United States. In 1821, the Rev. Mr. Brunton, formerly of Aberdeen, preached some time at La Chine; but I hear he has left it, so that the congregation is again vacant. No church had been built: The congregation met in the school. house. In 1817, a small congregation was collected at River du Chine, about thirty miles above Montreal. Mr. Andrew Glen was ordained their pastor, and laboured among them about two years; but, meeting with discouragements, he left them and went to Terre-bonne, twenty miles from Montreal, where he taught the government school two or three years. By his preaching on Sabbath days he collected a small congregation; but as he left the place in 1822, they have had no pastor since that date. - At Chambly, sixteen miles east from Montreal, since 1817, a preacher has sometimes officiated for a short time, but the congregation has never been regularly organised, or joined in church-fellowship. At present it has no supply of preaching.

           In Lower Canada (except in Quebec and Montreal) Protestant congregations are small; a vast majority of the people being Roman Catholics. Hence ministers cannot be supported by the people, and are soon forced to relinquish their charge. O that some of your missionary societies, that have done so much for the heathen would do something for this country. Here are thousands of nominal Christians, who will do little or nothing to provide religious instruction for themselves or their children, who might yet be reclaimed by the friendly assistance of others. A few faithful ministers are making every exertion in their power, but they are unsupported by any missionary or other society, and have to devote the great part of their time to the teaching of schools, to obtain the means of support.

           IN THE UPPER PROVINCE there are eighteen ministers, and thirty congregations. Some of the latter, it is true, are in an infant state, but so were the greatest in the world at their first commencement. This province is capable of supporting a numerous population; and I trust the day is not far distant, when the handful of corn which is now scattering over its barren surface, shall shake with prosperous fruit like the cedars of Lebanon. In giving an outline of their history, I shall observe no other method, than merely to begin at the lower part of the province, and go over them in succession. The four first are all in Glengary, and are at the distance of from sixty to seventy miles above Montreal. The most northerly of these is Lochel.

           1  The congregation of Williamstown lies in the middle of Glengary, and is both numerous and respectable. As you may expect, they are mostly Highlanders, and give a decided preference to the Gaelic language. This probably is the oldest Presbyterian congregation in the province. For many years it enjoyed the services of the Rev. Mr. Bertram, who died one year before I came to the country. Their present pastor, the Rev. Mr. McKenzie, is from Scotland, and was settled among them in 1819.

           2  Lochiel is about thirty miles north from the St. Lawrence, on the road from Cornwall to the Grand River. It is mostly inhabited by Scotch Highlanders, who have shown a laudable zeal in providing themselves and their children with religious instruction. In the year 1815, a neat and commodious church was erected, and, in the following one, the Rev. Mr. McLaren was sent out from Scotland as their pastor. His success in his labours has been considerable, and be preaches both in Gaelic and English.

           3  Connected with the above, there is another congregation on the River Raisin, where Mr. McKenzie occasionally preaches, but they are not yet in a condition to support a minister themselves.

           4  McMartin's Mills is also in Glengary, about six miles from Williamstown, and eight from Cornwall. The Congregation at this place is one of the most numerous in Canada. They have a church capable of containing from 400 to 500 people, and it is generally well filled. They formed one branch of Mr. Bethune's congregation. That gentleman had four places of worship, which he supplied in rotation, of which this was one, Cornwall another, Williamstown a third, and Lancaster a fourth. The Rev. Mr. Fletcher is the pastor of the congregation at McMartin's Mills. He came to Glengary as a teacher at the termination of the war with the United States, and, on receiving a unanimous call to McMartin's Mills, was ordained in 1819. He preaches both in Gaelic and English.

           5  Lancaster is a village on the bank of the St. Lawrence, sixty-four miles above Montreal, and contains a church in which Mr. Bethune formerly preached. The congregation here have never been able to support a minister, but they are sometimes supplied with preachers from other places.

           6  Cornwall is a neat well-built town, standing on the bank of the St. Lawrence, eighty-four miles above Montreal, and twenty miles above Lancaster. The Presbyterians have a church in which Mr. Bethune formerly preached. The Rev. Mr. Johnstone is their present pastor, and came to them from Ireland in 1817. He is active and indefatigable in the discharge of his duty but a dispute with some neighbouring magistrates has involved him in considerable difficulties. The old church being small, and in a decayed state, he formed the design of erecting one more elegant and of larger dimensions. With this view he raised considerable subscriptions in Quebec and Montreal, as well as in his own congregation. The fabric was not only begun, but far advanced, when it was found that some of his opponents had taken out the deed from government in their own name, as trustees. The further progress of the work was stopped, and there being no prospect of the dispute being settled, the church remains in an unfinished state.

           7  Many of the congregation of Osnabruck are Dutch people, who were settled here when discharged from the army at the end of the American revolutionary war. The church stands on the banks of the St. Lawrence, thirteen miles above Cornwall, and ninety-seven from Montreal. The edifice is not large, but is neatly fitted up, though it has been a good many years built. I am not acquainted with the early history of the congregation, nor do I know that they ever had a settled minister before the Rev. Mr. Taylor, who came among them in 1817, and engaged to preach to them and to the people in Williamsburg alternately. There being few persons among them possessed of vital religion, the connection was attended with little comfort to either party. After labouring for two years with little success, Mr. Taylor crossed the St. Lawrence, and settled in a congregation of his own countrymen, in the State of New York. Mr. Johnstone of Cornwall is now their pastor, whose enterprising disposition is better suited to the genius of the people.

           8  Williamsburg is the next township above Osnabruck. The congregation is nearly of the same description with that of the last mentioned place. They had a church built many years ago, but never had a pastor except for a short time. Mr. Taylor supplied them while he remained on this side of the river. Since he left them, Mr. Johnstone has been their minister and preacher at Cornwall, Williamsburg, and Osnabruck, alternately.

           9  Matilda is the next township above Williamsburg. It is thirty-three miles above Cornwall, and fifteen below Prescott. A congregation was formed here some years ago, and a place of worship erected, but the want of a minister has greatly hindered its prosperity, and it is at present in a divided and scattered state.

           10  Prescott, sometimes called Fort Wellington, because it is in the neighbourhood of that fort, is forty-eight miles above Cornwall and twelve below Brockville. It is rising into a place of some importance, being a port of entry, and the place at which a ferry-boat constantly plies between Canada and Ogdensburg in the State of New York. It was only during the last war that it began to be a village, and then Mr. Smart of Brockville preached sometimes, both to the country people and to the soldiers of the garrison. At the time I landed there, and for some years both before and after, it was distinguished for scenes of profligacy and wickedness. The Sabbath was profaned in the most open manner, and swearing, drunkenness, and other vices were quite common. From having resided there a few days, I had a strong wish that the people should be provided with religious instruction. I preached to them once myself, and earnestly requested Mr. Smart to visit them as often as possible and endeavour to promote reformation. He did so and, in the mean time, was looking out for a more permanent supply. In 1820, Mr. Boyd, a young preacher from Ireland, arrived. He was engaged to teach the school in the village, and preach to the congregation on the Sabbath day. He lodged for some time with Mrs. Jessup a widow lady of considerable property and influence in the place. His labours were acceptable, both as a teacher and preacher. His congregation, as well as his school, greatly increased and considerable exertions were made for his support. A call was prepared and laid before the Presbytery, which Mr. Boyd having accepted, he was ordained by the Presbytery of Brockville on the 2nd of February, 1821. The prospect being encouraging, he determined, if possible, to get a church erected. Mrs. Jessup gave the ground gratis, and the congregation contributed to the utmost of their power. Still, however, funds were wanting, to supply which, Mr. Boyd made a journey to Montreal and other places and collected a very considerable sum. In the course of the summer the church was built, and in December following I received a letter from Mr. Boyd informing me that on the 12th of January it was to be dedicated to the service of God, and requesting me to preach on the occasion, and assist at the administration of the Lord's Supper on the following day. To this call I attended with pleasure, and have seldom been more gratified than I was with the appearance of things, when I reached Prescott. A handsome and commodious place of worship, capable of containing from 300 to 400 people, was not only erected, but finished in a manner creditable to all concerned. I preached in the afternoon to a crowded congregation, and in the evening again addressed them on the nature and design of the Lord's Supper, and on the manner in which that ordinance should be observed. On the Sabbath day, Mr. Johnstone, who was expected, not having arrived in time, I preached again to a crowded audience. After sermon the sacrament was administered to about forty communicants; and seldom have I witnessed a more solemn and interesting scene. Mr. Smart preached an excellent sermon in the evening. The day was one of the coldest I ever experienced; but the congregation had taken care to have the church furnished with a good stove. In the course of the summer I again assisted Mr. Boyd at the administration of the sacrament, when some additions were made to the church, and every thing seemed to indicate that Mr. Boyd's labours were attended with success. His plans and endeavours to promote improvement were, it is true, in certain quarters meeting with opposition. But this was to be expected. No reformation can be made without giving offence to some. Mr. Boyd has suffered some inconvenience from the present embarrassed state of the country in a pecuniary point of view; but he still continues his exertions with unremitting zeal, and in the last letter I received from him, he speaks of resigning his school at midsummer, and devoting himself wholly to the ministry.


            BROCKVILLE IS 144 miles above Montreal, and 56 below Kingston. Besides its public buildings, which are the jail, court-house, and Presbyterian church, it contains a number of handsome private houses, many belonging to lawyers and merchants. It is the capital of the county of Leeds, and the various courts for administering law and justice are held there. The Presbyterian congregation existed many years ago, but they never had a regular supply of preaching, nor was the church organised till Mr. Smart, their present minister, came among them. Having been unsuccessful in their applications in other quarters, they, in 1808 or 1809, applied to the London Missionary Society for religious instruction. Mr. Smart was at the time studying in the Missionary Seminary at Gosport, with a view to his proceeding to the East Indies; "but the counsel of the Lord shall stand, and he will do all his pleasure." India was not to be the scene of his future labours. This petition was the means of changing his destination, and he was soon after ordained in London to the work of the ministry in Elizabeth Town, in Upper Canada. On his arrival, he did not confine his labours to one particular place, but travelled and preached in all the settlements between Cornwall and Kingston, an extent of more than 100 miles. The roads were bad, and the farmers' houses at which he lodged were often uncomfortable. His health sensibly declined, and he was forced to travel less. During the war he preached frequently to the garrison at Fort Wellington, and it was on one of these occasions that a ball from one of the American guns on the opposite side of the river, passed over his horse's neck and struck the ground a little beyond him, covering him and two gentlemen who walked near him with dust. It was during this war that Brockville began to rise into a village. It took its name from General Brock, who nobly fell in the act of defending the country from the invasion of the enemy. There being no church hitherto erected, Mr. Smart determined to set about one. His congregation contributed liberally, and he raised further supplies in Quebec, Montreal, Kingston and other places. The building was begun in 1816, and was completed the very day I reached Brockville, in June, 1817, and was dedicated the following day, in presence of a large congregation. Mr. Easton of Montreal preached in the forenoon, and I in the afternoon. A Christian church was regularly organised some years ago, and the sacrament of the Lord's supper is administered every three months. The place of worship cost about £1400, and is a substantial stone building, affording accommodation for a large congregation; but except on particular occasions it is never filled, and for some time past the congregation has been rather upon the decrease. No blame however, can be attached to Mr. Smart, whose character is unblemished and whose pious labours are unremitting.

           Though Mr. Smart's residence is nearly fifty miles from mine, he was almost the only Presbyterian minister with whom I could have any intercourse, for five years after I came to this country. This was regarded as a very providential circumstance by us both. Though both born in Scotland, we became acquainted in London: we were both members of Dr. Waugh's church in Wells Street, and used to attend a prayer meeting in the vestry every Thursday evening, consisting of young men belonging to the congregation. Here, with emotions you can better conceive than I can describe, we first, in the presence of others, presented our supplications at the throne of grace, and spoke on some passage of Scripture which had been proposed for the occasion. And though we had both before felt a desire to preach the gospel yet it was assuredly here that we finally resolved to devote ourselves to the work of the ministry. A short time after, Mr. Smart went to Gosport, and I went to Glasgow to pursue my studies. For several years after he went to Canada, we were separated by a vast ocean, and never expected to,meet again in this world. But how wonderful are the ways of Providence! Here we are settled over neighbouring congregations, and are members of the same Presbytery. But it is time to proceed to the history of Perth congregation.

           12  As you have already been informed, Perth and the country around it, were first settled by discharged soldiers and emigrants from Scotland. To the latter, previously to their leaving home, Government had offered assistance for the support of a minister, without respect to religious denomination. Of this offer, about forty heads of families availed themselves; and while they remained at Brockville before they came to the settlement, they signed a petition, and transmitted it to the Associate Presbytery of Edinburgh, requesting that a minister might be sent to them. Drs. Hall and Peddie were appointed their commissioners, with power to do every thing necessary in the affair. I happened to be present when this petition, along with two others from America, was laid before the Presbytery. Being requested to fill one of these situations, I, after due consideration, determined to prefer Perth. Having gone through the usual parts of trial, I was, on the 4th of March, 1817, ordained as the minister of the petitioners and others who might afterwards place themselves under my direction. On the 5th of April I embarked at Leith, and, on the 1st of June, landed at Quebec. On the 21st I reached Brockville, when Mr. Smart informed me that be had preached at Perth once a-month since the settlers went there, which was in the month of April. On reaching Perth, I met with the kindest reception from the agents of Government, and the half-pay officers settled in the village; but I was sorry to find that very little unanimity existed with regard to the most proper place for my residence. Some of the Scotch settlers were so unreasonable as to insist that I should confine services entirely to them, while others agreed with me in thinking they should be extended to the whole settlement, which at this time consisted of five townships, each ten miles square.

           I arrived on Tuesday the 24th of June, and on the following Sabbath preached at the inn, that being the only place in the village where there was a room large enough for the purpose; for most of the settlers were still living in small huts. The morning had been very rainy, the roads were bad, and the congregation was small - at least I thought so then, for I had not adverted to the circumstance, that in a thinly peopled country, in which few make a profession of religion, every congregation must of necessity be small. The agents of Government, the magistrates, and a number of the half-pay officers, attended. At the conclusion of the service I gave notice of a meeting of the congregation on the following Wednesday, to choose trustees, and provide a place of worship, no arrangements having hitherto been made by the people themselves.

           The result of this meeting was not very satisfactory, one party pertinaciously asserting an exclusive right to my services, while another maintained the propriety of my residing in the village, which was near the centre of the settlement, and extending them to the whole. It was in vain I assured them that it was of little consequence in what place I should reside, as I would preach in different parts of the settlement as frequently as possible. Nothing would please either the one side or the other, but to have things entirely their own way; and I saw that the cautions I had received from Mr. Smart were not unnecessary. It was evident a spirit of opposition had more influence than the wisdom which cometh from above, which is first pure and then peaceable, gentle and easy to be entreated. A committee, however, was chosen, and some necessary arrangements made, and I took up my residence in the village. One result of the meeting was of a satisfactory nature, for I had observed that there were at least a few among them who spoke and acted like Christians. How much better, thought I, is my situation than that of the missionary to the heathen, who has not the countenance of even one real Christian to strengthen his hands and encourage his heart. On looking round me, however, I saw a moral as well as a natural wilderness, requiring cultivation with regard to a great majority of the settlers, religion seemed to occupy no part of their attention. The Sabbath was awfully profaned; and drunkenness, swearing, and other vices were thought matters of course. The number of those inclined to attend public worship was small, and of those possessing real piety still smaller. As soon as I could obtain a little leisure, I paid a pastoral visit to the families in the Scotch settlement, from whom I received a welcome reception. But the task I had undertaken was attended with more difficulty than I was aware. No person who has never been in a new settlement can conceive how fatiguing and unpleasant it is to wade through swamp and bushes, and climb over rocks and fallen timber under a burning sun and surrounded with clouds of mosquitoes. Every night when I reached home I was ready to drop down both with corporeal and mental fatigue.

           The second Sabbath being a fine day, my congregation was considerably larger than on the first, but still it was small, compared with those to which I had been accustomed. In going to and returning from the place of worship, I could not help making comparisons between my native country and this. Many were at work at their ordinary employments, and I began to see that religious instruction, by a great part of the population, so far from being considered a privilege, would be considered a great hindrance to the prosecution of their plans. After visiting a good part of the settlements and preaching every Sabbath for two months, I resolved on organising the church. With this view, I explained to the congregation the nature and constitution of a Christian church, and showed the obligations Christians were under to join in communion and to observe all the ordinances of the Gospel. I then gave notice that on the following Sabbath, when public worship was over, I should receive applications, and examine the certificates of those who wished to join in the communion of the church. On the two following Sabbaths applications were made by forty-seven persons, thirty-eight of whom were admitted; and, on the second Sabbath of September, the sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered for the first time. There were two young communicants; all the rest had been members of churches in Scotland. All the communicants were seated at one table, and the season was comfortable and refreshing to us all. To me in particular, many circumstances concurred to render to make it peculiarly interesting. Two elders who had been ordained at home, assisted in administering the sacrament.

           At the next communion, which was on the second Sabbath of December, a few new members were admitted, and on every occasion since that time there have been some either more or less. The total number of church members admitted, up to June, 1823, is 270, but perhaps one-third of these now belong to the two other churches which have been formed in the neighbourhood. Up to the same date, I have baptised 350 children, and celebrated 115 marriages. Besides preaching in various places, I have visited and examined the congregation every year since I came to the settlement. When you consider the immense surface over which they are scattered, you will have some idea of the labour with which these services is attended. Early in 1818, five members who had been elected by the congregation, were ordained to the office of elders. Two of these, who were old men, have since died; but three new ones have been ordained, so that the number of elders is now six.

           Though the members of the church have formerly belonged to different religious denominations, nothing has happened among them materially to disturb that peace and good understanding which should ever prevail in a Christian community. Those without, however, have not been wanting in their attempts to introduce controversy and create dissension, but hitherto with little effect; and I trust the blessing of God, and the good sense of the people, will ever secure them against the designs the turbulent and malicious, who delight in disunion. An instance of this kind I shall have occasion to notice, in speaking of the building of our place of worship.


FOR MORE THAN a year. I preached in the large room at the inn, there being no other suitable place in the settlement. The people had neither money nor time to build a place of worship, the accommodations for their families requiring their first attention. Yet it was necessary that something should be done, as the rent we paid for the room took the whole of the ordinary collection. In April, 1819, I obtained possession of the new schoolhouse, and occupied it till the church was ready for our reception, which was in August of the same year. The settlers were not able to do much, but seeing the necessity of having a place of worship erected early in 1818, a subscription was set on foot for that purpose, and, as soon as £20 was collected, the building was commenced, and the frame of the church erected on a lot I had obtained from government for the purpose. Some of our neighbours warmly opposed building so early, for no other reason, so far as I could see, but that they might have a pretence for withholding their assistance; while others pronounced it madness to think of finishing the house we had begun, and prophesied that it would stand uncompleted as a monument of our folly. We, however, went on, and in the course of the summer I visited Brockville, Montreal, and other places, and collected about £150 in cash. The news of this gave courage to the desponding, and made our enemies almost ashamed of their opposition. Taking advantage of this favourable moment, I called upon those who had hitherto contributed nothing, and procured in the settlement new subscriptions to the amount of £60 more. Considering the extreme poverty of most part of the settlers, this was more than we could reasonably expect. The work was set forward without delay and the church was soon in a condition to be occupied. In a few months it was all finished except the galleries, which we did not immediately want. We have still a trifle of debt, which I hope in the course of two or three years will be paid off. The church is capable of accommodating about 200 people, and has at the east end a steeple covered with tin, according to the fashion of this country. For the last twelve month it has proved far too small on sacramental occasions; but, when I have the assistance of another minister, he preaches in a different place to a part of the congregation. Besides the lot on which the church is built, I have since obtained a grant of an acre on the opposite side of the street for a manse or parsonage house, besides two acres more for a burying ground.

           I shall now give you an outline of the attempt lately made to deprive us of this property. Two of our half-pay officers having been refused the privileges of the church for immoral conduct, a plan was laid to remove me from my situation, and seize upon the property of the church, the deeds of the land not having been issued. With this view a letter was addressed to the governor, signed by six persons complaining that my management of the church was not at all to their liking. This, by the by, was a testimony in my favour, and it is well they can charge me with nothing worse. They then go on to state farther, that I am connected with the Secession Church, "whose political principles" say they, "your Lordship well knows are very different from those of the church of Scotland." This, however, ruins the whole attempt, though it was intended to insure its success; for such an assertion can proceed from nothing but malice or ignorance. They then assume it as indisputable, that the land on which the church is built was granted to the church of Scotland, and therefore recommend to his Lordship to put it under trustees belonging to that communion.

           His Lordship's answer, it is said, agreed to this proposal, but. directs that I shall not be disturbed in the possession of the church during my life-time. This was a serious disappointment, as expectations had been entertained that their representation would have procured my removal from office. Nor were the attempts to create division in the congregation either feeble or of short duration. Their labour, however, was entirely lost; for instead of creating disunion, it produced a greater degree of unanimity and zeal in the congregation than ever had been witnessed before. A meeting was held in the church, at which it was unanimously resolved that I should be requested to explain the business to the Governor. I accordingly wrote a letter, of which the following is a copy, and addressed it to Colonel Cockburn."SIR, Perth, Sept. 7, 1822.

           "Having heard that certain persons here have made an application to the Governor, materially affecting the property of the Presbyterian church under my care, I take the liberty of making the following statement, which I beg you will have the goodness to lay before his Lordship.

           "At the request of certain Persons now located in this settlement, I was, in 1817, ordained, by the Associate Presbytery of Edinburgh, as the minister of those who did then, or who afterwards should place themselves under my ministry. I was then recommended to Earl Bathurst, not only by the Presbytery, but by the Lord Advocate of Scotland, and Lord Viscount Melville, and received from his Lordship a letter to the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, with orders for the payment of the salary that had been promised. Immediately on my arrival here, I entered on the discharge of my duties; and, at the end of three months, organised a regular Christian church, on the principles, and according to the standards of the church of Scotland. On examining the members, I had observed that there were among them some from all the Presbyterian bodies in that church. Therefore, to unite them for the present, and prevent any dispute in future, I proposed that the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the church of Scotland should be recognised is the basis of our union; and that it should be held, as a fundamental and unalterable principle, in all time coming, that the members of the church who were in regular standing and full communion, should have the privilege of choosing their ministers, elders, trustees, &c. and that no person besides these should have any right to interfere in their affairs, or vote at their meetings. This proposal was agreed to without a dissenting voice, and has been acted upon ever since, with the happiest effect and without interruption, till lately, that certain persons not qualified as above, have attempted to interfere in our affairs. One of the conditions offered to us before we left Scotland (as you will see by looking at the printed papers) was that we should have land allotted to us on which to build a church; and this, be it observed, "without distinction of religious sects." Accordingly, a few months after I came to the settlement, I and two of my elders waited upon the Superintendent, with a copy of these conditions, and requested that he would put us in possession of the land alluded to. He immediately gave us the lot on which the church is now built, and wrote the name of one of my elders upon the diagram as the person to whom the deed was to be issued.

           "The next step was to get a church built. With this view I went about personally and solicited subscriptions, not only in the settlement, but in various parts of both provinces. In this service I travelled more than a thousand miles at my own expense, and collected the greater part of the money expended on the building. I afterwards superintended the erection, laying out the money to the best advantage; and when it was nearly finished, committed it to the care of trustees, under certain regulations, enacted at a general meeting of the congregation. All this time we acted under the most implicit confidence that a deed would be granted us whenever we should apply for it. The burying ground, and lot, the parsonage house, I obtained from yourself at a subsequent period.

           "At the time the congregation was organised three months after I came to the settlement, the communicants amounted to forty, and the other members to about one hundred and fifty. Since that time they have gradually increased, till, at the last enumeration, there were 244 communicants, and of other members upwards of 1200. The harmony that has always prevailed, and still does prevail, notwithstanding the many attempts of our enemies, both to slander and to stir division, calls for our astonishment and gratitude. Our offence, so far as I can learn, is the strictness of our discipline, particularly in refusing to profane the sacraments by administering them to improper persons. But why should this be an offence I know not, as we never exercise authority over any but those who, of their own accord, become members of our church. With regard to the persons who have made the application, at least five of them, they never were in communion with our church, nor indeed with any other that we have heard of. Their assertion that the political principles of the Associate Synod are very different from those of the Church of Scotland, is no less extraordinary and unfounded than the statement that it was not known in the settlement that I was ordained and sent here by that body. It was known by His Majesty's government; for it is noticed in Earl Bathurst's letter to the Lieutenant Governor; it was known to my congregation, for their petition for a minister was addressed to the Associate Presbytery of Edinburgh; and it was known to the public, for a letter from the Presbytery and the certificate of my ordination were read in presence of the congregation (of which Mr. Daverne, Captain Fowler, and the magistrates formed a part) the first Sabbath I preached in Perth; and how these gentlemen could be ignorant of it is more than I can comprehend.

           "His Lordship's order, that I should not be disturbed in the possession of the church, &c. during incumbency deserves my warmest thanks, and shall be remembered, because it seems to have been given under the idea that I had not, properly speaking, a right to it. But from the pains I have already taken it will be evident that I am no less concerned for the interest of the congregation than for my own. And, as the measure is not only hostile to them, but tends to destroy my peace of mind, embarrass me in the discharge of my duty, I hope his Lordship will discharge persons who are not of our communion from interrupting us in the peaceable possession of our property.

           "It only remains that I should apologise for the length of this communication, which I am sorry the nature of the case has rendered necessary. - I have the honour to be, Sir, your obedient Servant,


To Lieut.- Col. Cockburn,

Quebec.           To this letter I received no answer; but we have not since been troubled in the possession of the property.

           13.  Lanark congregation is the next in order. Some of the settlers, who are mostly from the west of Scotland, having resided the first winter in Perth, were members of the church here before they settled on their lands. After they went to Lanark, I visited them as often as possible, preached among them and baptised their children. On the 24th of June, 1821, after preaching and baptising a number of children, I proceeded to organise the church. Upwards of forty members were admitted, and a committee of managers appointed. On the 17th of March, 1822, the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered, for the first time, to the church, and a number of new members were admitted. It was a time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord and many rejoiced to see a communion table spread for them in the wilderness. I continued to visit and preach among them as formerly, but they were chiefly supplied by the Rev. Mr. Gemmill, formerly of Ayrshire, who had come to Lanark as a settler. In March, 1823, assisted by Mr. Gemmill, I again administered the Sacrament to upwards of ninety communicants, a good many new members having been admitted. They are looking for a minister from Scotland, having petitioned for one, and Mr. Gemmill in the mean time supplies them with preaching. A stone church is now building in the village, with the money collected in Scotland for that purpose. The village of Lanark stands in a very romantic situation, on the banks of the Clyde, fourteen miles northwest from Perth.

           14  Beckwith congregation for two years had no supply of preaching but what I could afford them. They came from Perthshire in Scotland, and settled in Beckwith in 1818. I occasionally visited them, preached among them and baptised their children, but having more preaching stations than I could possibly supply, I recommended that they should petition for a minister of their own. To this they agreed, and a petition was forwarded to the Associate Presbytery of Edinburgh. It was long before they had any answer, and the they concluded that it had been unsuccessful. In the meantime, that they might enjoy all the ordinances of the Gospel, I spent some days among them, examined many applicants, and, on the 24th of February, 1822, administered the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper to ninety communicants. Six of them were young persons, but all the rest had been members of other churches, either in this country or in Scotland. I continued to preach among them occasionally as before, till the Rev. Mr. Buchanan, who was in the same year sent as their pastor, arrived. They received him and his numerous family with joy; built them a house, and did all in their power to render them comfortable. Mr. Buchanan is settled in the middle of the township, about twenty miles from Perth, and preaches in both Gaelic and English. His coming is a great comfort to me, as I can now have the assistance of a minister, as well as his company and conversation on every sacramental occasion.

           15.  Richmond is in the township of Goulburn, and thirty-one miles from Perth. The Presbyterians settled there are not numerous, but they are evidently increasing. When I first preached in the village, early in 1822, the congregation was very small, but they soon after increased. After Mr. Buchanan settled in Beckwith, he sometimes preached among them, and last winter they engaged Mr. Glen to preach and teach the school, but, as he has only lately settled there, I can give no account of his success.

           16.  In Kingston there are two Presbyterian congregations, and neither of them of long standing. The first was formed in 1817, and they sent to Scotland for a minister soon after. They had, in the mean time, occasional supplies of preaching, but none permanent till the Rev. Mr. Barclay, their present minister, arrived in 1822. They had in the preceding year commenced building a handsome stone church, which is now finished in a very elegant manner. The congregation, which consists chiefly of Scotch emigrants, is numerous and respectable and seems to be in a prosperous condition.

           17.  The second congregation of Presbyterians in Kingston, consists chiefly of persons from the United States. In no part of Canada is party spirit discovered more than in this place. Although there was only one society at the commencement of the church building, it soon became evident that they were united neither in sentiment nor affection. A division took place soon after Mr. Barclay's arrival, and the party separating have erected another church but have not yet obtained a minister.

           18, 19, and 20.  Namely, Ernest Town, Fredericksburg, and another new congregation, a few miles from the latter, on the Bay of Quinte, and about thirty miles above Kingston, are all under the pastoral care of Mr. McDowall, who settled in that part of the province about thirty years ago. He was educated in the United States, and ordained there as minister of the congregation at Ernest Town, which is the place of his residence. The other two congregations have been raised by his labours since that time, and he preaches to them alternately. The surrounding country being fertile and well settled, the congregations are numerous, and likely to become more so.

           21.  At Haldemand, about half way between Kingston and York, there is a small presbyterian congregation, but they have not yet obtained a settled minister.

           22.  Markham congregation, near York, was formed some years before I came to the country, and is now under the pastoral care of the Rev. Mr. Jenkins. Like all ministers settled in new congregations, be has had many difficulties to encounter, but they are every year growing less.

           23.  York though the capital of the province, contained no Presbyterian congregation till 1821, when Mr. Harris, a young preacher from Ireland, arrived. By his labours, a congregation has been collected, and a church built. He intends to remain there, but he has not yet been ordained to the pastoral office.

           24, 25, and 26.  In Yonge Street, a few miles to the north of York, in Dundas Street, between York and London, and Ecquessing, congregations have been formed, but no churches have been built, nor ministers settled.

           27.  Niagara congregation was formed some years before the last war with the United States, and was many years under the care of the Rev. Mr. Burns. Being in a well-settled country, it is one of the best congregations in the province. The church was burnt by the enemy during the late contest, but the congregation expect to receive some compensation from government. When Mr. Burns died, early in 1822, the congregation applied to our Presbytery for a supply of sermon, and Mr. Creen, a young man from Ireland, being the only licentiate at that time under our direction, he was sent forward. His conversation and preaching being agreeable to the people, they requested he might be ordained over them, and the Presbytery had made arrangements for that purpose, when it was discovered that Mr. Creen was making arrangements of a very different kind, namely, to receive Episcopal ordination from the Bishop of Quebec. Being indignant at his duplicity, the congregation dismissed him from their employment, and the presbyters withdrew his licence. Early in 1823, Mr. Johnstone, another preacher, who had lately arrived from Ireland, was sent to supply the congregation. I have just heard that they are well pleased with his preaching and have requested that he may be ordained as their pastor.

           28.  At Stamford, a few miles higher up the Niagara River, a congregation was formed a few years ago, of which Mr. Wright is now pastor. He also preaches at some other places in the neighbourhood.

           29.  At St. Catherine's on the road to the Talbot Settlement, there is a congregation and a church, of which Mr. Eastman, from the United States, is minister. He travels a good deal, and has a number of other preaching stations.

           30.  The Talbot Settlement contains a great number of Presbyterians, but no congregation was formed till a few years ago, when Mr. Schemelhorne, formerly of the Dutch Reformed church, settled there. He is both diligent and successful in his labours, and has three or four places at which he preaches in rotation.

           The first Presbytery ever held in this province met in 1816 and was named the Presbytery of the Canadas, as there were some of the members from both provinces. The standards of the Church of Scotland were recognised as the basis of their union, and have been acted upon ever since. At the first meeting of this Presbytery, there were only four ministers present, but they soon after received so great an accession to their number, that it was deemed advisable to divide themselves into two or more presbyteries, not on account of their number, but on account of their distance, that all the members might have it in their power to attend the meetings, which had hitherto been impossible, on account of the great distance they had to travel. It was accordingly resolved, at a meeting held in Glengary, about the end of 1819, that those in the lower province should be left to form a Presbytery by themselves, and that those in the upper province should form three presbyteries. The first to meet at Cornwall, the second at Brockville or Perth, and the third at York or Niagara; and that the whole should form a general synod to meet once a year. These meetings have not been so regularly attended as could be wished, but this is not at all wonderful, when the immense distance of the members from one another, and the badness of the roads, are taken into the account. The Presbytery of Cornwall, I think, has had two meetings, that of York and Niagara only one. The Presbytery of Brockville and Perth have had a meeting once every three months, and to them applications for supply of sermon, &c. from the upper part of the province, have generally been made. The synod, up to June, 1823, has had only three meetings. Four ministers in this, and three in the lower province, have not yet connected themselves with the synod, and have taken no part in these proceedings.

           There are a few Methodist circuit preachers in each of the provinces, but what is their number, or the amount of their congregations, I have not been informed. They are mostly from the American Conference, and on that account are preferred by their countrymen settled in the Canadas. For some years past they have had much disputing with the missionaries from the British Conference, but this probably arises more from the opposition of their political creeds, than from any difference in their religious sentiments.

           The Baptists have a few preachers settled in different parts of the province, but their congregations being too small to support them, they live chiefly by agriculture.

           Catholics are nothing like so numerous in this as in the lower province; yet even here there is a considerable number, the greater part of them from Ireland. I know of at least six priests officiating in different stations, but it is probable there are more in the province.

           The country being extensive, is still far from being fully supplied with religious instruction; but a great proportion of the people, so far from being sensible of their wants, have a great aversion to those who do not think them every thing that is clever and excellent. The last war had very injurious effect upon the morals of the people - an effect which will be felt for many years to come. But the number of their instructors has been of late years greatly increased, and though there is still much to be effected, it is pleasing to observe that the wilderness and the solitary places are beginning to be glad, and the desert to blossom like the rose.


HAVING IN MY former letters obeyed the principal injunctions you laid upon me, I shall now, without order or arrangement, set down a few pieces of miscellaneous information which may assist you in forming a just idea of the state of this country, and particularly of this settlement. You are aware, that at the time of my coming here, a great proportion of the Population was discharged soldiers and others, who knew little or nothing of the nature and discipline of a presbyterian church. I had expressed my determination to offer my services to the whole settlement, and religious instruction to all descriptions of persons who were willing to receive it. From this the ignorant entertained the belief that I was come to be a kind of chaplain to the settlement, and that I would not only give instruction, but administer the Sacrament to all sorts of persons without distinction. I was in consequence subjected to many visits of a very unpleasant nature. Ignorant or immoral persons would sometimes call at my house with children and request me to baptize them; and it was of no use to tell the former they must be instructed, or the latter that they must reform their conduct, before I could recognise them as church members or baptize their children. Some indeed, were civil and attended to the instructions I gave them, but others were quite enraged, and threatened to lodge a complaint with the magistrates or even to tell the governor himself. As a specimen of what I had to encounter take the following.

           On the Saturday evening before I administered the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper for the first time, a foreigner who was a discharged soldier, called and requested me to baptize his child. I asked him a few questions to ascertain whether he understood the nature of that ordinance and whether he performed the duties of religion or not. Finding by his answers that he was very ignorant, I instructed him in the nature and design of baptism, and told him that I would baptize his child when he made a profession of religion, and proved his sincerity by performing its duties as became a Christian. To all this he agreed, and left me well pleased with what I had told him. In half an hour however, he returned, attended by his father-in-law who was one of the most forward and insolent men I ever met with - a man who, as I afterwards learned, made no profession of religion, and had distinguished himself by his quarrels, both with his neighbours and his own family. At first he was somewhat civil, and argued a good deal to persuade me to baptize the child. It was in vain that I told him it was contrary to the rules of our church to baptize in private, and that never having seen any of the parties before, I could not interfere till the parents brought a certificate of their moral character. Still he insisted, but finding it of no use, he altered his tone, and in a most insolent manner told me that I must do it, and that I had no right to refuse. I replied that he was mistaken and that I should be glad if he would leave the house, as he was behaving very improperly and troubling me at a very unseasonable time. After a little more conversation to the same effect, they left the house in a rage, the young man saying he would baptize it himself, but the old man said, "No, we'll take it to the Catholic priest." In about ten minutes they returned, bringing the child and its mother along with them. The old man pretended to apologise for his former rash conduct, and said if he had offended me he would ask pardon, but still insisted that I should baptize the child as it was present. I again told him that it was contrary to the practice of our church, and that the mode of his application was altogether irregular and improper; that I knew nothing of him; and that from what I had seen of his conduct, I had formed a very unfavourable opinion of him. This was followed by a torrent of abuse from the whole party. The old man in particular talked quite in a raving manner. He said he would make a protest against me; that he had been educated for a clergyman, though he was now a wood-cutter; and that he could read Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and French, as well as John Brown of Haddington could; and a great deal more to the same purpose. Had you baptized the child, said he, I would have done you all the good in my power; but as you have not, I will do you all the mischief I can. I told him that though, as appeared from his conversation, he was a very important personage, yet neither a desire of enjoying his favour, nor a fear of incurring his displeasure, should induce me to depart from the line of conduct which my duty marked out. They then left the house, uttering imprecations and threatening revenge. I afterwards learned that, upon leaving me, the mother ran to the river side, and lifting a little water, threw it in the child's face; but the whole party having consulted together, concluded that this was not sufficient, and that to make sure work, it would be better to take the child to the Catholic priest, which they did accordingly, by whom the service was performed in French. You will no doubt be surprised, as I was, when the circumstance happened, that any person living in a Christian country could be guilty of such extraordinary conduct; but upon inquiry, I found that the old man's conduct was not more extraordinary in this than in other particulars.

           While I am on this subject, I shall mention one other instance which had a more tragical termination. Though I had given public notice that in ordinary cases I would baptize no children but in presence of the congregation, and after the parents had received the necessary instructions, or had satisfied me that they had a right understanding of that ordinance, yet ignorant applicants continued to bring children to my house and insist that I should baptize them there. On the evening of one of the coldest days I have ever felt even in Canada, a man and a woman came with a child nearly frozen to death, and requested me to baptize it. I asked if they were the parents of the child. They said they were not the parents, but had merely come as godfather and godmother. I told them they were much to blame for bringing out the child in such inclement weather, and thereby endangering its life; and asked them if they were so ignorant of the nature of the duty I had to perform as to suppose that I would baptize a child while the parents were not present, and yet in the neighbourhood. They excused themselves by saying that the child was sick, and the parents were afraid it would die without baptism, which would be a shocking thing; and being rather unwell themselves, had requested them to carry the child to the parson, and, as they intended to stand godfather and godmother, they did not see any need for the parents being present. Seeing they were ignorant, I proceeded to give them instructions, and to show them that infants ought not to be baptized unless they were the children of believing parents; but the man, who was a very forward fellow, interrupted me by asking whether I would baptize the child or not? I replied that I would not till I had seen and conversed with the parents, or at least with the father of the child. "0 well", said he, "It's no use waiting; I'll take it to the Catholic priest. I dare, say, he'll do it. It is no matter to us who does it, if it is done;" and with this they left the house. About half an hour after the man came in again for his stick, which he had forgotten in his hurry, and mentioned, with some degree of exultation, that, upon paying half a dollar to the priest, he had christened the child without asking any questions. The service was performed in French, of which they understood not one word. This relation will give you some idea of the people with whom I had sometimes to deal.

           About a month after this circumstance took place, the father of the child himself called, and wished me to baptize it again, as, he said, he did not like Catholic baptism. This of course I declined. He then said, if I would not do it he meant to lodge a complaint against me with a magistrate; for all I could say did not convince him that I was not an army chaplain. I smiled at the man's ignorance, and told him he was welcome either to do that or follow my instructions as he thought best. Whether he went to a magistrate or not I have not learned; but he spent the remainder of the day at a tavern, and in attempting to go home in a very cold night, lost his way and perished in the snow. Next morning his body was found, and brought to Perth. It was frozen as hard as stone and presented a shocking spectacle. The child in question died the same evening, and on the following day they were both buried in one grave.

           He that would remove ignorance, and promote general reformation, must turn his attention to the rising generation. The old are obstinate, and so much attached to their vices from habit, that their reformation is next to impossible; but the young are more easily bent. Being convinced of this, I, amongst other means of improvement, determined to attempt the establishment of a Sunday school, and accordingly gave public notice of my intention. Though I began with five scholars, they soon increased to twenty; but, when the novelty of the thing was over, and the roads became bad in the rainy season which followed, their number was reduced to about one half. Sometimes it has been given up and resumed again, and in this way it has been continued till lately, and I trust not without some good effect, though it was not so numerously attended as might be expected. It has been taught most part of the time by a member of the church, who was a very suitable person, having been employed in the same way at home. Four or five other Sunday schools have, at my request, been attempted in other parts of the settlement, and with similar success.

           Up to the time of my arrival in the settlement, no school of any kind had ever been attempted. At the request of the inhabitants, I determined to open one for the common branches of education. It was accordingly begun on the 7th of July, 1817, with eighteen scholars. The governor in chief being informed of the circumstance, not only expressed his approbation, but ordered a salary of £50 a-year to be paid me as the teacher. The number of scholars increasing, the want of a school-house was very much felt; for I had still to teach in my own dwelling-house, which was both small and inconvenient. At last, however, a convenient school-house was erected, and I took possession, using it for the school during the week, and for the church on Sunday. Things continued in this state till the end of 1819, when an episcopal clergyman came here to settle, who kindly agreed to take the school off my hands without my consent. Against this measure the inhabitants unanimously petitioned, but without effect. This was the more to be regretted, that the school was proceeding in the most satisfactory manner, and never was more prosperous than at the time it was given up. It is but right to observe, however, that the Deputy Quarter-Master-General did me the justice unequivocally to state that he had no fault to find with my management of the school, but that he thought it right that a clergyman of the church of England ought to have a situation under government in preference to any one else. On this transaction I shall not at present make any other observation than merely to say, that the school, under the direction of my reverend successor, soon after died of a consumption, and the schoolhouse has been for some time empty.

           While I am on the subject of schools, I shall just inform you what the legislature has done to encourage education in Upper Canada. In the province there are nine districts, in each of which the sum of about £400 annually is allowed for the support of schools, namely, £100 for the district schools, in which the classics, mathematics, &c. are taught, and the rest for the support of common schools, in which the ordinary branches of education are taught. Of the former, there is only one allowed in each district; of the latter, as as many as the inhabitants think proper, provided they furnish at least twenty scholars for each, the salary being divided among all the schools, in proportion to the number of scholars taught in each. The rest of the teachers support is raised from the school fees, which are from two to three dollars a quarter.


MOST OF THE marriages solemnised in this colony at an early period were performed by magistrates or commanders of military posts. Ministers were few in number and often far distant. Now, none but clergymen are permitted to marry unless here be no one nearer than eighteen miles; but, in that case, a magistrate is still permitted to solemnise marriages according to the form of the church of England, provided he advertise his intention, and the name of the parties on some public-house in the township three weeks before the marriage takes place. Ministers of Presbyterian, Calvinistic, and Lutheran congregations, have the same privilege of celebrating marriages within the bounds of their own communities as ministers of the church of England have. This privilege is also enjoyed by priests of the Romish church. The methods of getting married are two; by being published the three preceding Sabbaths in the church, the same as in England, or by special license from the Governor, in which case the marriage may be dispatched at once, before the public can be aware of what is going on. A confidential agent, in every considerable town, has some of these licenses ready sealed and signed by the Governor, and having blanks to be filled up with the names of the parties to be married. In this settlement a license costs six dollars; but in other parts of the province it costs eight. Since money became scarce they are not so much in demand; but those who can afford the expenses generally give them the preference.

           It is customary among people from the United States, when a death takes place, to request some minister to preach a funeral sermon at the house of the deceased to those who attend the interment. Sometimes an address is delivered to the attendants at the grave. I have not declined to do either of these when requested but neither is very common in this settlement.

           I had not been a week in Perth, when a person called upon me to request that I would attend at the burying-ground, and read the funeral service at the interment of one of his neighbours. This I however declined, and assigned my reasons for so doing. I had another call of the same kind a few days after, and since that time I have had several more. My refusal drew down the displeasure of the parties concerned; for I could not convince them that I was prevented by conscientious scruples. They imputed my conduct to an unaccommodating disposition.

           In the autumn of 1817, a farmer from the Rideau settlement called upon me, and said he had heard me preach at Brockville, and had taken the liberty to request that I would come and preach a sermon to him and his neighbours when I could make it convenient. I agreed to his proposal, and we fixed the time. When it arrived I set off on foot; for there were then no horses in the settlement, nor any thing to feed them with, nor road on which they could travel. At ten o'clock, on Saturday the 3rd of October, I set out. My journey was about twenty miles, and most of it in the woods, where there was scarcely any track. I took a guide with me, and it was well I did so, for without one I never could have found the way. We passed two considerable rivers, which we had to wade, carrying our clothes on our shoulders to keep them dry. Two very bad ash swamps also lay in our way, in which, where we could not find fallen trees to walk upon, we sunk to the knees in mud. After a fatiguing march of eight hours, we reached our lodging about sunset. Our landlord was very kind and attentive; but the landlady, who appeared to have a great talent for silence, did not speak to us for some hours after our arrival, nor more than a dozen words all the time we remained in the house. All the family slept in one apartment, which was large. The door was not fastened at night, and I observed that it had neither bolt nor bar - a proof that the farmers have no apprehension of nocturnal depredations. The house was pleasantly situated on the bank of the river Rideau, near the place first proposed for the settlements of the Scotch emigrants.

           At four next morning a violent storm of thunder and rain came on, which lasted till nine. This rather alarmed me, as we were four miles from the place where I was to preach; but at ten, the storm being over, we proceeded down the river in a canoe. At a farmhouse which we passed, we stopped and took in three young women, relations of our pilot. They could paddle very dexterously, but, like our landlady, they remained silent. I made several endeavours to draw them into conversation, but without success. My guide afterwards told me that the young women in that quarter are so shy that if a stranger call, they often run and hide themselves; and if they remain, they scarcely speak a word. Their education must be very defective, or injudiciously managed. After a voyage of three miles between woody banks, we landed, and walked one mile to the school-house. A crowd had already collected near it, their horses stood near them tied to stumps, saddled and bridled; for most of them came on horseback. My attendant had forewarned me that my audience would make a somewhat rustic appearance; and indeed I found that he was not mistaken. Being a little thirsty, I walked into a house to get a glass of water, when about half a dozen young men followed me, and stood round me with their hands in their pockets, staring me in the face, without speaking a word. Many of them had never seen a Presbyterian minister before, and on hearing that one was coming, their curiosity was excited in no ordinary degree. On mounting the desk, the congregation seemed large for so retired a place, but many of them had a very homely appearance. The men sat on one side of the house, and the women on the other, as is customary at Quaker's meetings. Most of the latter wore no bead dress, though some of them had children on their knees. Bare-headed women, with long hair hanging over their shoulders, suckling children, had certainly a very odd appearance; and I could scarcely persuade myself that I was not in an assembly of Indians. After sermon, the leader of the class, for they are nearly all Methodists in that quarter, invited me to his house to take some refreshment, but having to return in the canoe with the rest, I was obliged to decline his kind offer. I afterwards learned that my audience were very well pleased with my sermon, till near the conclusion, when I observed that true believers are kept by the power of God, through means of faith, unto eternal salvation. This gave them great offence, and they concluded that, since I did not think a believer could fall from grace, I ought not to be countenanced. In the evening I had much interesting conversation with my landlord, who was a sensible, well-informed man. Next day I returned home, better pleased with the people of my own charge than I had been before my journey.

           About a fortnight after this, I resolved to visit Kingston, where I was told there were many Presbyterians destitute of a minister. The distance, by the nearest road, is about seventy miles, but by Brockville and the St. Lawrence it is near a hundred. As my object was usefulness, I resolved to take the latter, that being better inhabited than the other. On my way I preached in Brockville, Yonge, Gananoque, and other places, where I found kind friends and encouraging congregations. On leaving Gananoque, as I was tired of walking, and being still twenty-five miles from Kingston, I engaged a passage in a country boat which was proceeding to market with a cargo of apples. The wind was contrary, but being light, the men expected to reach Kingston before evening by the assistance of their oars. But before we had proceeded far, the wind increased, and it began to rain so fast that we were forced to land upon Howe's Island, and take shelter at the house of the forester. This part of the St. Lawrence, on account of its numerous islands and still water, is called the Lake of a Thousand Islands. Wolfe's Island, which is the largest, is about fifteen miles long, and contains much good land. The rain having abated, we proceeded on our voyage, but as the wind blew hard, we made very little progress. As I was anxious to reach Kingston that night, and being told that I might find a road through the woods, I went ashore though the night was very stormy, and the woods drenched with rain. The sun sunk below the horizon soon after I landed, and I had still nine miles to travel on a road which turned out to be much worse than I expected. Indeed it scarcely deserved the name of a road, differing little from the rest of the forest, except that the mud was deeper in consequence of the passage of cattle. The rain continued all the time, and the mud in swampy places was so deep that I got through with difficulty. There was moonlight, but the sky being charged with clouds, it was very faint. At one place I came to an opening, in which I observed, at a short distance, two huts; but on going to them, in the hope of finding shelter for the night, I was mortified to find that they were not inhabited. Finding that there was no alternative, but either to grope my way through mud and bushes, or remain in the woods all night, I persevered, when on a sudden I heard a drum beat, and never before did the sound of that instrument afford me so much pleasure. From the sound, which I had no doubt proceeded from the garrison, I concluded that I must be within two miles of Kingston. In little more than half an hour I reached that place, and though I was a stranger, I soon met with kind friends, as I have uniformly done in every place where Providence has sent me. A good fire to warm me, and dry my clothes, a comfortable supper, and agreeable company, soon made me forget my toils. In such circumstances the comforts of life and the blessings of society are doubly sweet.

           On the following day, which was Saturday, I waited upon a few of the friends of religion, but was sorry to find that they were far from being united in their sentiments. In such a country as this, one would expect to find nothing like party spirit in religious matters; but the case is quite otherwise. The inhabitants are emigrants from all the religious denominations, and all zealous for their own sect or party. On the Sabbath I preached twice in the Lancasterian school-house, to a numerous and attentive congregation. On Monday, at the request of some of the friends of religion, I visited them at their own houses, and found some very agreeable company. At that time there were in Kingston an Episcopal church, a Roman Catholic chapel, and a Methodist meeting-house. The Presbyterian churches were not then built, though one of them had been proposed. On Tuesday I left Kingston, and walked to Gananoque, where I met with a kind reception from the family of Charles McDonell, Esq. where I had lodged on my way up. My kind host requested me to stay with him a day or two and rest myself, and as this afforded me another opportunity of preaching in the village, I consented. On Wednesday I went with Mr. McDonell to see his saw and grist-mills, on the Gananoque river. The logs are brought to the mills by water, drawn up, and cut by machinery. The boards are then rafted, and sent down the St. Lawrence to Montreal and other places for sale. The grist-mills are no less complete. Boats with grain can come close up to the building, when it is drawn up, ground into flour, packed into barrels, and again lowered into the boats; by which it is afterwards conveyed to market. Here we were joined by Colonel Stone, with whom I took a walk up to the bank of the river to see the rapids, while use he detailed to me his plans for rendering the river navigable to the lake from which it issues.

           In the evening I preached in the school-house to about a hundred people. After sermon I had some conversation with a few of them, who appeared to be serious good people. They were chiefly Baptists, and I learned that they had two small societies in that neighbourhood. Next day I breakfasted with Colonel and Mrs. Stone. Being both pious and well informed, they are a blessing to the neighbourhood. The Colonel not only furnished me a horse for my next journey, but accompanied me several miles himself. In the evening I reached the house of Mr. Purvis, one of Mr. Smart's elders, where I remained for the night. Next day I went on to Mr. Smart's, being engaged to assist him in the administration of the Lord's Supper on the following Sabbath. In the evening the members met for conference and prayer, when I delivered an address on the nature and design of the ordinance they had in view. None but those who have lived in a country like this know how delightful it is to meet with a company of those with whom we are connected in church fellowship. Suffice it to say, it was a time of refreshing to us all. The following day I spent in the happiest manner with Mr. Smart and his family. Many plans were proposed and discussed for advancing the Redeemer's kingdom in the province. The last thing we took under consideration was a plan for uniting the exertions of all the Presbyterian ministers in the country; and we concluded that Mr. Smart should write to them all and request their concurrence. This was the origin of that union which has since been formed. The greater part received the proposal with pleasure, but two or three chose rather to stand by themselves.

           About ten on Sabbath morning, we left Mr. Smart's house for Brockville, which was distant about five miles, to engage in the solemn and delightful services of the day. I preached to the congregation, and Mr. Smart administered the sacrament to the members of the church, whom he addressed in a very impressive manner. Next day I set out on my way home in rainy weather and deep roads. After two days disagreeable travelling I reached Perth in safety, though much fatigued. The roads in this country not being covered with stones or gravel, in rainy weather soon become almost impassable.

           The two journeys I have mentioned above were made soon after I settled here. Since that time I have made two or three journeys every year, to the distance of fifty or a hundred miles, preaching at the various places as I went along, baptising children, catechising, and visiting families in their own houses. The labours, fatigues, and privations to be endured in some of these excursions, can only be estimated by those who have travelled in a country like this. In some places tolerably good accommodation is to be had; in others little or none. This is particularly the case in new settlements. After making a long journey through deep snow, or perhaps mud, and fording the rivers in my way, I have had to sleep on a bear or buffalo skin spread on the ground, and a blanket over me. The winter is the best season for travelling, after the snow is well trod, but at first it is very difficult, especially if the ground was not frozen before the snow fell. I have seen it knee deep in the month of November, while the mud below was nearly as deep; but it is rare to see much snow so early: there is seldom much before the beginning of January. When the ground is hard-frozen before the snow falls, the roads are soon fit for sleighing, but when there is a fall of snow before the mud is sufficiently hard to carry a horse, it is long before travelling is good, the snow keeping out the frost.


IN NEW SETTLEMENTS, nothing is more common than for persons to lose themselves in the woods, and remain for days, or even weeks; and some have perished there, not being able to find their way out. One of my parishioners, soon after he settled here, was lost nine days, subsisting all the time on leaves, herbs, and roots. When he was recovered and brought back to his house, his faculties seemed somewhat impaired; and even to this day, the recollection of what he suffered, chiefly from hunger and anxiety, produces a melancholy effect upon his mind. When a person is lost, he becomes quite bewildered and stupefied. East from west, and north from south can no longer be distinguished, and anxiety takes possession of the mind, hurrying one forward probably in the wrong direction. When this misfortune happens in severe weather, the danger is very great. In passing through where there was no path, I have sometimes wandered from the proper direction, when I had not the sun for a guide, but I never went so far astray as to be in much danger, excepting once.

           On the evening of the 23rd of December, 1818, which was one of the coldest days in that winter, being on my way home from a distant part of the settlement, I wished to come by a line I had never before travelled. I walked along a creek, about two miles; but the ice at one place being bad, I broke through, and got wet to the knees. In less than half a minute my clothes were as hard as boards, the frost being intense. It is in a case of this kind that freezing is most to be dreaded. As long as one is dry, the frost makes less impression. Knowing that I was now in great danger, I travelled with the utmost expedition; but I had not proceeded half a mile farther when I again broke through at a spring. The sun was just setting, and I was still three miles from home. I turned from the creek, and struck into the wood. My trousers, stockings, and shoes were now as hard as stone, which greatly retarded my progress. My situation at this time was somewhat hazardous, my body being in a state of perspiration, and my extremities freezing. But, in a case of this kind, strange as it may appear, it is a pleasure to feel pain; for whenever a hand or a foot is frozen, it becomes insensible. On leaving the creek, I had to pass through about half a mile of cedar swamp, and here I lost my way. The snow was about a foot deep at an average; but while I climbed over fallen timber, and struggled through thickets, if I had firm footing at one step, the next I plunged in some hole up to the middle; but the exertions I made were the means of saving me. Had I stood still but a few minutes, I would have been frozen to death. After exerting myself for some time, and seeing no prospect of getting out of the swamp, I began to suspect that I was travelling in a wrong direction. The sun, which had been my only guide, was now sunk below the horizon, and there was a prospect of being benighted in the wood, with certain death as the consequence. I sprung forward with redoubled vigour; and, for near an hour, made the most strenuous exertions; but seeing no prospect of getting out, the shades of darkness falling around me, and my strength beginning to fail, I was about to sit down on a fallen tree, and resign myself to my fate; when, looking to my right, I observed that the darkness in that direction was less dense than in the others. A ray of hope sprung up, and I again set forward. I had not proceeded far, when I came to a clearing with a hut in the middle; but what was my disappointment on reaching the door, to find it uninhabited. Now, however, the danger was at an end; for by following a tract which I found in the snow, I knew I would soon reach some inhabited house. After travelling some time, I got into a well-beaten path, in which I had not proceeded far when I met two men, from whom I learned that the road led to Perth, which was distant about three miles. I now discovered where my error lay. After losing sight of the sun, I had travelled to the north-east instead of the south-east. In little more than half an hour I reached home, for I lost no time on the road. I found my family somewhat uneasy, being alarmed at my stay. After getting the clothes on my lower extremities thawed and taken off, I found that no part of my feet was frozen. My shirt was drenched with perspiration, and that which had descended from my head, hung in icicles round the ends of my hair. Since that time I have never ventured into the woods without a compass; and I would advise every one else to use the same precaution.

           In this country after the winter sets in, all wheel carriages are laid aside and nothing but sledges are used. By them lumber or grain is carried to market, firewood is drawn home, and people travel to a distance to see their friends or to transact business. In old settlements where the road is good, they form a very pleasant conveyance, and with a good horse one may travel fifty or sixty miles in a day without difficulty; but in a new settlement, where the road is encumbered with stumps, and the surface full of inequalities, both horse and rider will be sufficiently fatigued with half that distance. In a storm, however, it is as easy travelling in the woods as in the open country. In the former, you are sheltered from the piercing winds, which, in the latter, sometimes freeze the travellers nose, ears, or even fingers, before he is aware. There, too, the snow in a storm drifts so much that travelling is rendered both difficult and tedious. The truth of this I once felt, in a journey of more than one hundred miles, to attend a meeting of Presbytery. I had travelled part of the way by myself when I was joined by Messrs. Smart and McDowall. They had a double sledge, and we agreed to travel together. The snow fell thick and the air was so very cold that we were obliged to stop every three or four miles to get ourselves warmed. The road lay along the bank of the St. Lawrence, and was much exposed to the storm. The snow was drifted so much that we could scarcely tell where the road lay, except when we were guided by the fences. No vestige of the old track being visible, we were in continual danger of upsetting. About nine in the evening, we reached the house of a hospitable Dutchman, named Von Allan, one of Mr. Smart's elders. There we enjoyed very comfortable accommodations for the night. Next morning, after breakfast, we set forward to finish the journey. It no longer snowed, but both the wind and the cold had increased. No trace of a road was to be seen, the snow being deep, and drifted on the top as smooth as the surface of a lake. Except in a few spots, the horses sunk to the belly at every step, so that our progress was very slow. The wind was directly in our faces, and it was the coldest I ever encountered even in this cold country. Though we were well muffed up in great coats, and enveloped in buffalo robes, yet we could not endure the cold more than two or three miles at a time. It was well for us we were travelling a road where houses are to be met with at short distances; and here it is thought nothing strange to walk into any house come to, in a cold day, to enjoy the benefit of the fire. In spite of all the care and precautions we employed, Mr. Smart had his nose frozen, and Mr. McDowall one of his ears; but they were both speedily recovered by the application of a little snow. What would our friends on your side of the water think of travelling more than a hundred miles under such circumstances, to attend a meeting of four ministers and two elders. In the evening, we lodged at the house of a worthy Scotsman, in whose hospitable and pious family the sufferings of the preceding day were entirely forgotten. No comfort in life affords one more pleasure than religious society; and I do not know that ever I found it more refreshing than on the present occasion. In the course of the day I had been thinking of the labour and difficulty of introducing religion, and laying the foundations of churches in a new country, till the prospect appeared gloomy and discouraging; but the scene which the evening presented was so much brighter, that, with Paul on a similar occasion, I thanked God, and took courage. Our journey home was more agreeable, the weather having moderated, and the road being again tracked with passing sledges. The alteration in the temperature of the air is in this country both great and sudden. The cold in winter is sometimes dreadful, but this seldom continues more than a day or two. A few cold days are often followed by weather so mild that travelling is quite pleasant; and not many winters pass without a complete thaw in January or February, though these are the coldest months in the year. The sky in Canada is neither so serene nor the weather so steady as I was led to expect, from what I had read on the subject, but we have certainly a purer air, and fewer changes of weather, than you have. Thunder during the summer months is both frequent and loud, and twice since I came to the country I have heard thunder when frost and snow were upon the ground. Flashes of electricity are attended with a vividness and brilliancy unknown in more northern latitudes, and I have sometimes got out of bed in a dark night, during a thunder storm, to enjoy from the window, a sight of the town, completely illuminated by flashes which occurred every two or three minutes.

           The year, in this place, is about equally divided between summer and winter. The former begins about the first of May, and the latter about the first of November. The heat of summer and the cold of winter are intense for about three months, each in its season. The rest of the year is more temperate. Though vegetation begins on or before the first of May, it does not make much appearance till the earth is well warmed with the rays of the sun, when it proceeds with a rapidity unequalled in any part of Britain, and it is no unusual thing to see crops of grain sown, ripened, and cut down all in the space of three months. But it is seldom so plump as in colder climates, where it ripens more slowly.

           Storms are sometimes so violent as to do considerable damage. The most serious I have seen happened on 28th of June 1818. At about mid-day it began to thunder, attended with rain, which continued about two hours, when a violent storm, or rather hurricane, commenced, so violent that trees in all directions were prostrated on the ground. First hail, and then rain fell in torrents. The hail was as large as gooseberries, and besides doing much damage to the crops, demolished many of the windows that were exposed to its fury. I never witnessed a storm any thing like so severe. The darkness, the lightning, the peals of thunder, the rattling hail, and the deluge of rain which swept along the ground, all tended to heighten the terrific grandeur of the scene. There was not a road in the settlement which was not blocked up by trees failing across it.

           On calm summer evenings when there are any clouds in the sky, an electrical phenomenon is sometimes presented of a very sublime and interesting nature. The first time I observed it was on the evening of the 29th of June, 1818. The weather had been excessively hot for some weeks. After sunset it grew very dark, the sky being covered with thick black clouds. About nine o'clock the electric fluid began to play in a more singular and beautiful manner than I had ever witnessed. At intervals of about a minute, the western sky was illuminated, with a brilliancy and effect which I cannot describe. There was no flash, but a steady glare of light which rendered every object perfectly visible while it lasted, which was from two to three seconds each time. The evening was perfectly calm, and there was neither thunder nor rain that night, but abundance of both just before sunrise. My family and I contemplated the pleasing scene in the garden for more than half an hour, when we retired. How long it continued afterwards I did not know. The same thing I have sometimes witnessed since, though not in so striking a manner.

           Many of the settlers have suffered loss, and some of them have been almost ruined by fires. When they are burning off the timber from the land, a strong wind sometimes carries the fire much beyond the limits they have prescribed. The ground is all covered with a thick coat of leaves, which, when very dry, catch fire like tinder, the wind carrying it over the ground with great rapidity, and sometimes even setting fire to the standing trees.. If it meet fences or houses in its way, very great exertions are necessary to save them from destruction, all being built of wood, and all being very dry, for people always choose a dry season for burning off their land. When a fire gets into a dry cedar swamp it burns with great fury. The crackling noise, the vivid flames, and the volumes of dense smoke that darken the sky form a sublime spectacle.

           In a country where there are many rivers and but few bridges, you may expect to hear of numerous deaths by drowning. Our rivers that are not fordable are usually crossed in canoes. These do well enough for persons accustomed to their use, but in unskilful hands they are frequently upset. Our population in this settlement are not much accustomed to the water, and no year has passed without two or three persons being drowned. In 1820, I had a narrow escape myself in crossing the Mississippi river to preach to the people on the opposite side. A farmer had furnished a canoe, and six of us were just putting off from the shore to cross at a part where the river is very deep, when a very heavy man, in endeavouring to seat himself more comfortably, upset the canoe and set us all in the water. Fortunately we were only a few yards from the shore when the accident happened, so we all reached it in safety. Had this happened at a distance from the bank, the probability is, that we would all have been drowned, as not one among us could swim.

           Another time I had to cross the same river to preach a few miles lower down. Part of my congregation crossed with me in canoes from this side. On our return we had the same kind of conveyance, and all had got over safe except four or five who were in the last canoe. They had just put off from the shore, when one of them, who had never been in so small a vessel, in altering his position, upset the canoe. The place was not beyond their depth, and all got out safe. When they had all got across, one of them, who was a Highlander, observed that canoes were kittle things, and he would take care how he ventured into one again.

           Accidents among our new settlers are no less frequent by the failing of trees than by drowning. At first they are unskilful in conducting the operations of clearing, are not aware of the danger to which they are exposed from large trees falling across one another, or knocking branches from others while they are coming down. Every year, two or three at least have met their death this way, and many more have been seriously hurt.


YOU WILL PERCEIVE by what I have already said, that when I first settled here, the majority of the population consisted of discharged soldiers. This however, is not the case now. The number of emigrants has increased while that of soldiers has decreased. Few discharged soldiers make good cultivators; they have not in general acquired the habits of industry and application necessary for farmers. They were allowed rations by government for one year and while these lasted they seldom deserted their land, except to earn wages; but when their rations were eaten up, a great part of them left the settlement. Those that remain are hard working industrious people, and seem to make good settlers.

           A few of the half-pay officers reside upon their lands in the country, but most of them remain in the villages -- the majority in Perth. The whole number amounts to between thirty and forty, and most of them are justices of the peace. This gives them a greater influence in the settlement than is perhaps agreeable to the civilians, few of whom hold commissions of the peace, or any other office under government. It is but justice, however, to these gentlemen, to observe that though instances of arbitrary and oppressive conduct may have occurred, yet, in general, they have conducted themselves with a degree of moderation and politeness that does them credit.

           I have already hinted that the morals of a considerable portion of our population would bear amendment. The vice most common in this settlement is Sabbath profanation, though it is much less practised now than formerly. When I came to the settlement there was little difference made between that day and other days, excepting that there was more drinking, quarrelling, fighting, and less work done; but, since that time the worst part of our population has been sent away, and among those that remain, much reformation has taken place, though with some there is still room for improvement.

           You may easily conceive how I felt on coming hither, when I compared the morals of this country with those of that which I had just left. But I was determined to attempt a reformation, at least as far as my own influence extended, for I soon found that I must expect little cooperation. It appears to be a prevailing sentiment in this country, that every man may do just what he pleases, provided he does not injure his neighbour so as to bring him under the lash of the law. So feebly are the restraints of the law of God felt, that many, if reproved for swearing or Sabbath breaking, will boldly inquire, What harm is there in it? I began the endeavour to reform Sabbath breakers by preaching a sermon on the duty of remembering the Sabbath day, to keep it holy; and showed that the neglect of it tended not only to incur the displeasure of God, in whose favour all happiness consisted, but to sap the foundation of public morals, on which the happiness of society must always depend. If a man have no regard for the authority and law of God, he will not be influenced by the laws of men any further than his safety or his interest is concerned. I requested my congregation not only to pay a sacred regard to the Sabbath themselves, but to use their influence with their neighbours, by persuasion alone, to prevent their failing into this sin. I was sensible, however, that some more extensive endeavour must be made. The most culpable part never entered a place of worship, and therefore did not hear my admonition; but I determined that they should hear it, and, therefore, in company with one of my elders,visited them at their own houses, pointed out the duty of observing the Sabbath, told them that a reformation was to be attempted, and requested their assistance. In the discharge of this duty, I met with more encouragement and civility than I expected. Though we visited every house, hut, and tent, both in the,village and the neighbourhood, we met with nothing but attention, and even thanks for our visit, excepting from one family, to whom our message was evidently disagreeable, for what reason you may easily guess. Since that time, reformation has been gradually advancing, some of the more respectable inhabitants setting the example to their inferiors. Were all who have influence to concur, the thing would be easy but unfortunately this is not the case, and fishing, hunting, forming parties, &c. are still persisted in by some of whom better things might be expected. But speaking generally, the Sabbath is now as well observed here as in any other place in the province.

           When the settlement was formed, money was plentiful, and with some of our youths who were not kept to hard labour, frolic was the order of the day, and sometimes even of the night. Take the following as an instance. On the morning of the 26th of March, 1818, it was found that all the signs in the village had changed their places, and most houses had caricatures of some sort or another fixed against their front. A tavern sign was fixed over a shop, and the shop sign over the tavern. The sign from the stage house was fixed on the Superintendent's office, and a merchant's sign attached to the residence of the Catholic priest, &c. &c. A reward was offered for the discovery of the actors of this comedy, but no direct proof was ever adduced, though few had any doubts about who they were.

           On the 10th of July 1820, the first election for a member to represent the county in the provincial parliament took place. Several candidates had offered themselves; and every morning for some days before the election, caricatures and placards were exhibited to the no small amusement of the inhabitants, for many of whom an election was quite a new thing. When the day arrived, all were in motion at an early hour, hurrying to the village on the tiptoe of expectation. At ten o'clock a number of gentlemen proceeded to the house of the returning officer, and accompanied him to the hustings. Business was just about to commence, when the floor of the hustings, being overloaded, gave way and precipitated the whole company to the ground. Little damage, however, was sustained, beyond a few slight scratches, the discomposing of dresses, and the splashing of ink. The only fracture I observed was in the board of a volume of Burn's Justice, which a magistrate was gravely consulting at the moment the accident happened. Carpenters in abundance being at hand, the hustings were speedily repaired, and business commenced. The writ was read by the returning officer, and candidates were proposed. Speeches were made, some of them amusing enough, from the manner in which they were delivered. All having declined the contest excepting William Morris and Benjamin Delisle, Esquires, they were declared the only candidates; and the freeholders were requested to divide, those for the former to the right hand, and those for the latter to the left. A great majority having taken the right hand, loud huzzas followed, and Mr. Morris was declared the successful candidate. But Mr. Delisle demanded a poll, it was immediately commenced, and continued until four o'clock, when the numbers were, for Mr. Morris 156 - for Mr. Delisle 36. During the day liquors and other refreshments had been served out in abundance, and those who had partaken most liberally began to discover their various dispositions. Some were frolicsome and others mischievous; some danced and sung, others swore and threatened; and before evening several bloody battles had been fought, but not between the opposite parties. At five o'clock, eighteen gentlemen, the principal of Mr. Morris's friends sat down to an excellent dinner at the head inn, and spent the evening very agreeably together. Next morning business on the hustings having commenced at the usual hour, Mr. Delisle came forward, and said that he would now decline any further contest. The returning officer then declared Mr. Morris duly elected, and his friends proceeded to chair him, which was done in a home manner. The procession paraded the streets during several hours, the crowd huzzaing and singing loyal and patriotic songs. At various places they were regaled with wine and other liquors, which soon made them forget all their hardships, and the difficulties of a new settlement. After the procession was over, the evening was spent by all classes in festivity and rejoicing.

           Considering the mixture of worthless persons which our population formerly contained, it is astonishing how few crimes have been committed. There has been only one murder in the settlement; and though there have been several instances of stealing, I have not heard of a single robbery being committed. This shows how beneficial constant employment is in suppressing vice and encouraging virtuous dispositions. Idleness is the parent of every vice; but, in a new settlement, he must be a lazy fellow indeed, whose own accommodation does not stimulate him to exertion. I had once an out-house broken open and pork stolen, and several of my neighbours have had similar deprivations committed on their property. But as food in all these cases was the object, it is but charitable to conclude that hunger operated no less powerfully than a thievish disposition.

           For some time after the settlement was formed, the brute creation suffered even more from hunger than the human. In the summer they could pick up a scanty subsistence from the leaves and bushes, but in the winter many of them perished for want of food. The rage for acquiring stock was so prevalent, that many purchased cattle and pigs, for which they had no food, and turned them adrift to shift for themselves, though there was not then a blade of grass in the settlement. When enraged by hunger, scarcely any fence could keep them out, and those having crops had them destroyed by the cattle and pigs of those who had none. In this way I had three acres of fine wheat half ruined by a flock of pigs belonging to one of my neighbours. It was against the law for them to run at liberty; but at that time none minded what was law but what was most convenient for themselves. I remonstrated with my neighbour, but being one of the clerks in the Government Office, he thought he might do what he pleased, and I could obtain no redress. His eldest son was even heard to threaten to shoot some of my cattle if he fell in with them in the woods. Of this I took no notice, thinking it not at all likely that he would dare to carry his threat into execution; but I was mistaken. On the following Sunday, April 16, 1820, he shot the best cow I had, not above a quarter of a mile from the house. On hearing what had happened, I went directly to his father's house, but as neither of them was to be found, I left word what was the object of my call. Next morning, both the father and the son came to my house, and expressed both indignation and astonishment that I should suppose either of them capable of doing me any injury. I told them the threat which had been held out was sufficient ground upon which to prosecute the young man, which I was determined to do. After solemnly protesting that he had not a gun in his hand during the preceding day, they left me; but after consulting some of their friends, they returned, confessed the fact, and promised to make good the damage. But this they afterwards declined to do till compelled by the fear of a prosecution.

           Being once on my way home from Brockville, I fell in with a farmer on the road, who knew me, and invited me to his house. In our way thither, he said if I would stay with him all night and preach a sermon in the evening, he would send to let his neighbours know. To this I agreed, and preached accordingly, to about fifty people whom he had collected. When the sermon was over, a man came forward and told me, in presence of the congregation, that he had a few words to say respecting the doctrine I had preached. I told him to say on. "Well," said he, "you told us that there was no such thing as absolute perfection in this world." "And does not the Scripture say the same?" I replied. "I do not hold to your doctrine," said he, "for the Scripture says that Job was a perfect and upright man." I replied, "that Job might be relatively perfect, but not absolutely so; or he might be perfect in his own estimation, though not in the estimation of God. "0," said he, "I do not understand these distinctions; I take the Scripture just as it stands: it tells me that Job was perfect and upright." I replied, "in your sense of the word, there is not a just man upon earth that sinneth not, and that is the Scripture just as it stands. That you have formed an erroneous opinion of Job's character, is evident from his own words; 'I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes.' Now, if he had no sin, as you suppose, of what did he repent, or why did God, who is just in all his ways, and holy in all his works, suffer Satan to afflict him?" To this question he could make no proper answer, and the conversation dropped. In that quarter Methodists are numerous, and this was one of their leaders. From the specimen I have given, you I will be able to form some idea of what a minister has to encounter, for this is no solitary instance of ignorant presumption. A place of worship after sermon among these people is often converted into an arena of dispute, and more attend for the purpose of criticising or calling in question the correctness of what they hear, than to receive instruction.

           I have already observed that the late war had no very favourable effect upon the morals of the country, and yet there are many who wish for nothing more than to see the contest renewed. The affluence which all descriptions of persons enjoyed through means of the government money put into circulation, compared with the poverty which at present prevails, has still so much influence over their minds that they would prefer war with all its horrors, to the tranquillity which they now enjoy. In 1818, when I was in Montreal collecting a little money to assist in building our church, among other persons, I waited upon a gentleman in one of the government offices, from whom I expected something handsome, on account of the interest which I had no doubt he would take in the prosperity of the military settlement. But what was my disappointment when he told me he could not give me a penny. On leaving him he called after me, that he would give something to the building of the church, if I would promise to pray for a new war, but I proceeded without making him any reply. The next I waited on was W. Clarke, Esq. Deputy-Commissary-General, lately deceased, from whom I experienced very different treatment. Indeed no one ever solicited the assistance of that good man for any benevolent purpose in vain.

           I cannot omit here bearing honourable testimony to the kindness and liberality of the good citizens of Montreal, while I was engaged in this business. Nor is that the only instance in which they deserve praise - many a church besides ours have they assisted to build. I had been disappointed of assistance from the person whom I expected to accompany me, but another as suitable offered of his own accord. In our progress we had a new and interesting view of human nature, and a great variety of tempers and dispositions were unfolded to our inspection. Most people to whom we applied gave us something. Some gave us more than we expected, and others gave us less; and the few who gave us nothing, were the very persons from whom we expected most. Some gave with seeming reluctance but the far greater part contributed with a frankness which did them honour. One gentleman to whom we applied, said he knew very little about Perth, but he would give us ten dollars to the building of a church there with pleasure, and that he would give a like sum to assist in the building of a church in every township between Montreal and Niagara.


YOU PROBABLY THINK I have not given so flattering an account of this country as some others who have written on the subject. But the truth is, many have written descriptions of this country who were ill qualified for the task. A traveller who makes a tour from Quebec to Detroit, a distance of eight or nine hundred miles, sees but little of the interior of the country, and knows very little respecting it, except by the information he receives from others, and hence the erroneous and absurd statements which of late have issued from the press. What I have written is the result of my own experience during a residence of six years. Some of the flattering accounts you have leave seen of the state of the country are more like descriptions of what it may be fifty or a hundred years hence, than of what it is at the present time. This province possesses great natural resources, and, I have no doubt, will at some future time support a dense population; but immense improvements must be made, and many years pass away before this takes place. Nine-tenths of the province are still covered with wood, and lying in a state of nature. The accession which the population every year receives from emigration is trifling when compared with the extent of the country. Every year since the late war, at least ten thousand emigrants have arrived at Quebec, not one half of which ever settle in Canada. The greater part go to the United States and purchase land, though they could get as good in Canada for little or nothing. But delays are sometimes necessary, and these are always disagreeable and often ruinous to a poor man travelling with a large family.

           Most emigrants who write home to their friends an account of the country, represent it either as very good or very bad, according to the circumstances in which they find themselves at first; hence the contradictory accounts which appear before the public. I have been amused with the various effects which even the state of the weather sometimes has upon the minds of emigrants. In a fine day, when the roads are good, they are seen trudging along to the promised land with happy faces; but in rainy weather you may see them carrying their children on their backs, and wading through the deep mud, grumbling out their reproaches against themselves for their folly in leaving comfortable homes for a howling wilderness where nothing but hunger and hardships are to be met with. Often have I seen females sitting at the side of the road resting their weary limbs or crying till they were sick and expressing unavailing wishes that they were back to their native country.

           Some, after much toil and exertions, just reach Canada, when, overcome with fatigue or disease, they sink into an untimely grave before they have half carried their plans into execution, leaving, perhaps a large family of orphans among strangers, without the means of support. Many instances of this kind I could relate to you; but take the following as a specimen: near the end of August in 1820, the mother of a large family died here the day after her arrival from Glasgow. She had left her country and performed a perilous voyage and a toilsome journey; but was not permitted to see the land she was looking forward to as her future residence. She had been sick for some days, but being anxious to reach the end of her journey, she came forward in a covered waggon; but breathed her last a few hours after she reached Perth.

           In 1821, an emigrant who had a large family, went into the St. Lawrence at La Chine for the purpose of bathing; but incautiously going beyond his depth he was drowned. What his wife and children suffered in these circumstances I will leave you to judge. On reaching Fort Wellington, they were detained a few days for want of waggons. The widow, overcome with grief and fatigue, was taken ill and died, leaving a family of eleven children totally unprovided for. But in this country orphans need never be destitute of a home. Farmers, who have few or no children of their own, readily take them and bring them up for the benefit they receive for their labour.

           But I think I hear you saying, Would you to discourage emigrations by these statements? To this I answer, By no means. Your surplus population, who have not employment at home, could not do better than come to Canada, provided they are possessed of health, industry, perseverance, and as much cash as to settle them decently upon their land; but if they have not these, they had better remain where they are; for a removal to Canada is attended with both labour and expense, and even there exertion is still necessary. If emigrants have a correct idea of obstacles they have to surmount, and the country in which they are to settle, the more that come the better. Here is plenty of land to labour on; and labour, if properly directed, will produce a sufficiency of food and clothing. Children may be trained to habits of industry, at employments more conducive to health than those pursued in your manufacturing towns; and people may have their time at their own disposal, to labour when they like, and rest when they like, which of itself is no inconsiderable ingredient in human happiness. Besides, a man who has a piece of land sufficient to provide him all the necessaries of life, is not under the fear of want of employment, so often felt of late years by your artisans and labourers.

           As to myself, though I have had many labours to undergo, and difficulties to encounter, I have never one repented coming to this country. In fulfilling my office, which in this extensive settlement, I can assure you is no sinecure, the heat in summer, and the cold in winter, have consumed me, till, like Jacob of old, sleep has departed from my eyes. But every year the roads are becoming better, so that that travelling is now easy compared with what it once was, when a horse could not be employed. But, from the nature of things in this country, travelling must always be difficult and often dangerous in the fall and spring, the mud at both these seasons, particularly the latter, rendering the roads almost impassable. The winter sometimes breaks up so suddenly, that the traveller finds it very difficult to reach his home. The winter in 1820 had lasted so long that when April commenced the sleighing was not over. On the 4th of that month I went to Beckwith, a distance of twenty miles, to preach and baptize some children. When I left home the morning was fine, and the sleighing was tolerable; but before I had proceeded half way it began to rain, and continued heavy all day and all the following night, and the air being warm, travelling soon became extremely difficult. But it was necessary to return home before I slept, even if I should travel all night. On my return, my horse had no less difficulty in getting through than I had. The snow being half melted, he sunk to the bottom at every step. Between twelve and one next morning I reached home, as wet as if I had been drawn out of the river, having waded a good part of the way to the knees in half-melted snow, while the rain poured down copiously. Had I waited till the rain was over, my return for some time would have been difficult, if not impossible. The snow melted so fast, that in two days the swamps were all covered with water, and the rivers had overflown their banks. In a short time the Tay had risen to such a height that it carried away the bridge built by the settlers in 1816, so that we were forced to travel, for about two months, between the north and south side of this town in boats or canoes. This, to me particularly, was a serious inconvenience, as my school-house was on the south side, while I, and a great part of my scholars, lived on the north. The rivers here do not rise and fall so rapidly as they do with you. The country is nearly level, and so of course are the rivers. Their course is long, and in low places they form lakes, sometimes of considerable extent, so that the progress of the water is slow. The consequence is, that when the snow, which has been accumulating for four months, melts, which it always does in April, if not sooner, the rivers and lakes are raised far above their usual height; and though about the middle of May they begin to fall, yet it is so slowly, that they are not reduced to their usual level before midsummer.

           I forgot to tell you before, that, when our church was building, I applied to the Governor-in-Chief, Sir John Sherbrooke, for some assistance in building materials. He was a worthy man, and I never applied to him in vain. He readily granted the supply I required, consisting of glass, putty, locks, hinges, nails, sheet iron, and a stove. Ill health, however, having required his return to England; soon after, we were under the malicious machinations of some underling in office, nearly deprived of the articles altogether, and we have never obtained the stove to this day. We are not less indebted, however, to His Excellency for his good intentions, and his liberality towards us, while he held the supreme power in this colony. The favour was considerable, because it was granted at a time when both labour and building materials were at a very high rate. The church could be built now for little more than half what it cost at the time it was erected. But this is of little consequence, as money has undergone so great an alteration in value, that it would be more difficult to raise half the sum now, than it was at that time to raise the whole; and that it was no easy matter, no one knows better than I do, as the greater part of the burden rested upon my own shoulders.

           The church, and other property belonging to it, are vested in five trustees, and their successors in office, who must in all cases be members of the church. The power of electing trustees, elders, and a minister, in case of a vacancy, is vested in the members generally, who are in full communion, and no other. Had it not been for this article, which gives great offence to some who are not members, confusion, if not ruin, would have been introduced into the affairs of the congregation, by persons calling themselves Presbyterians, but who are ignorant alike of church discipline and the power of religion. Upon the whole, I have reason to bless God for his goodness in carrying me through many labours, difficulties and trials, and for enabling me to lay the foundation of a church of Christ where there was never one before, and which, I trust, will be a temple for the Holy Ghost till the end of time. While the song of praise has been ascending from our united voices, I have been overpowered with feelings which I cannot describe, on considering, that the worship of God was now established on a permanent footing, in a place where, till lately, nothing was heard but the rushing of winds, the howling of wild beasts, or the war-whoop of savages. What a blessing this may be, not only to the present generation, but to others yet unborn, it is impossible to calculate.

           When I first thought of engaging in the ministry, it was my earliest wish that I might be placed in some situation where I might not even seem to encroach upon the labours and usefulness of other ministers, or appear to build upon another man's foundation. In this I have been gratified to an extent which I did not then anticipate, being, by the providence of God, placed in a new congregation, a new church, and in the middle of a new country, where there is abundant scope for my utmost exertions. I preach Christ, not by constraint but willingly; and, if he is glorified, I am happy. Since I came to this settlement in 1817, besides all my other labours, I have travelled upwards of 4000 miles, and preached about 900 sermons, visited my congregation at their own houses every year, and catechised them as frequently; and when the extent of the settlement is considered, the labour will not appear trifling. Indeed, no one who has never been in a new country, can form a just idea of the difficulty of travelling, where one has to climb over rocks, and fallen timber, wade through swamps, and ford rivers in every journey he makes. In this settlement however, new roads are opened and bridges built every year; so that in several directions, a horse can be used.

           The improvements that are constantly making in the state of the country, render a residence here every year more agreeable. Markets are plentifully supplied, and at a moderate rate; wages are greatly reduced; and public morals, as well as the appearance of nature, are improving. The cleared land is increasing in breadth; settlers have less labour, and fewer hardships; and they begin to be reconciled to many things which they at first thought disagreeable. There is a post twice a-week, which brings us letters, newspapers, and magazines, both British and American. Six years ago there was not a grist-mill in the settlement, now there are six; and several saw mills, which furnish boards of various kinds at a moderate price.

           The inhabitants being from different countries, there is a curious diversity to be observed in their manners and customs, at weddings, burials, &c. In some cases, both men and women attend funerals to the burying-ground; in others the men only. Some request their neighbours to attend, as is the custom in Scotland; in others, they are left to attend or not as they think proper, as in the United States. The small number of deaths which occur in the settlement, in proportion to the population, is a decisive evidence that the country is very healthy. There are always some deaths among emigrants at their first arrival; but these are chiefly occasioned by accidents, fatigue, exposure to the weather, or intemperance.

           The heat in summer, and the cold in winter give the most serious inconveniences we experience but these are felt in an extreme only for a few weeks. The severity of the winter is by no means so great as I was led to expect. A few very cold days occur every winter; but the greater part are not too cold either for working out of doors or for travelling. There is much pleasant weather equally removed from both extremes. The snow is seldom so deep here as in the lower provinces. I have never seen it more than two feet deep, except where drifted; and some winters it is not half so much. Several shocks of earthquakes have of late been felt, but most of them were slight. The most severe was in the summer of 1816, which created some alarm.


THE AGRICULTURE OF this province is still in a very backward state, even in the old settlements. And no wonder, as the original settlers were mostly discharged soldiers, mixed with farmers from the United States. The best farmers are those who have recently arrived from Great Britain. Here and there you may see a farm under good management; but in general there is much room for improvement. The Canadian farmers, by which is generally meant the French settlers in the lower provinces, have made little or no improvement on the plan pursued by their great grandfathers a hundred years ago; and what effectually hinders the amelioration of their circumstances is their firm belief that no system is half as good as theirs. It is to be hoped, however, that the success of the English and Scotch farmers settled among them, will at length open their eyes to see their error.

           Agricultural societies were established in 1817 in both Quebec and Montreal, and since that time in various other parts of the two provinces. These have already done much good; and it is to be hoped that, in a few years, they will be enabled to introduce a new and improved system of husbandry. It cannot be denied, however, that those who possess liberal minds, and are doing their utmost to promote the improvement of the country, have much apathy, ignorance, prejudice, and obstinacy to contend with. In some instances, the liberal premiums held out by the societies have produced no competition at all among the native farmers. But the country is so well fitted for agriculture, that among British emigrants its prosperity is not doubtful. The soil is fertile, the climate is genial; and when the timber is cleared off, and the stumps decayed, extensive plains will everywhere present themselves fit for tillage. The emigration which every year takes place from the United States to these provinces, is of itself a sufficient evidence of the advantages which they hold out to settlers.

           Emigrants from Great Britain and Ireland feel quite at home in Upper Canada. The language is their own; and they everywhere meet with their countrymen, ready to welcome them to this land of freedom from tithes and tax-gatherers. They must expect to labour hard, especially for a few years at first; but the prospect of independence, and a provision for their families, will sweeten all their toils. While land is to be obtained here at a moderate rate, nothing but ignorance or prejudice can induce emigrants to prefer the United States, for there the taxes are higher and the land dearer. Canada is an extensive country, and presents a variety of situations to the choice of emigrants. I do not think, however, that any place in the province will be found more agreeable than Perth, when all circumstances are considered. Here are churches of various denominations, schools for the education of youth, stores for furnishing goods of almost every description, and society of all sorts, from the best to the worst. The inhabitants are healthy, and less subject to fever and ague, than those who inhabit the shores of the great lakes. The sky is serener and the air clearer than in Britain; and colds and coughs are much less frequent. The summer is not long; but the progress of vegetation is so rapid that our crops are good, and the productions of our gardens various. Many kinds which in Britain must be raised in hot-houses, are produced here in great perfection in the open air. Cucumbers are raised in every garden. Musk melons sometimes weigh from six to ten pounds, and water melons from twelve to twenty. Pumpkins have sometimes reached sixty pounds, and frequently from forty to fifty. These facts speak for themselves, and give a correct idea of the climate.

           Emigrants coming to this country, ought, however, to be cautioned against indulging unreasonable expectations, which can never be realised. Many have supposed, that if they could be conveyed to America, their difficulties would be at an end. They would find, on their landing, someone ready to offer them assistance and employment. Whatever it may have been formerly, this is not the case now. Both labourers and mechanics are more abundant, and their wages lower than they were a few years ago. Farmers ought to bring a sum of money along with them, or they cannot expect to succeed, especially on new land; for though they should get a farm for nothing, their stock and first improvements will cost them something considerable, besides what is necessary to support their families, at least one year after their arrival. Some persons come to Canada with foolish expectations, and when they find them disappointed, they send back the most deplorable accounts to their friends, and blame the country for all the evils into which their own imprudence has plunged them. An industrious family, with a small stock of money, may soon become comfortable, but the indolent and imprudent will find themselves no better off than in Britain.

           Government has sometimes given encouragement and assistance to emigrants wishing to settle in Canada. This is a very wise measure. In many parts of Great Britain and Ireland, the population has become so great as to be a burden to the country; but were those that can be spared conveyed to the colonies, and supported during the first year, they would by industry not only become comfortable themselves, but be a benefit to their country. Were the money employed in Ireland to suppress rebellions, laid out in this way, its diseases would be cured without bloodshed, and the forests of Canada would be peopled with a hardy race, ready to defend their country against invasion. It is said that some of those persons settled upon the crown-lands were formerly disaffected to government, but if they were so at home they are not so here. The relief they have obtained from taxes, abundance of wholesome food and labour, and the facility of voting for a representative in the provincial parliament have, with other causes, contributed to render them as loyal subjects as any in the British dominions.

           To persons intending to emigrate to Canada, the following hints may be of use. Let them sail, if possible, from a port on the west coast. A voyage round the north of Scotland is generally very disagreeable, and often dangerous. In the fortnight that I was detained upon that coast, I suffered more than in all the rest of the passage. Let them select a ship that has good accommodations, and is not too much crowded. To most people the smell and confinement of a ship are sufficiently disagreeable, even with a moderate number, and the utmost attention to cleanliness and airing. But when there are three or four hundred on board one ship, as has sometimes been the case, it soon becomes intolerably filthy and disease is the consequence. Three or four years ago, two Dutch ships coming from Holland to the United States, crowded with passengers were rather longer on the way than they expected. Disease made its appearance among them, and, before a landing could be effected, it had carried off about ninety of its victims. If passengers find their own provisions, they will then have what is fit to eat, the captain finding only water and fire for cooking. In some ships you may find abundance of good and wholesome food for the passengers, but in others it is scarcely fit for hogs. Even when the captain engages to find provisions, as sickness may be expected, passengers would do well to carry a few necessary articles along with them, such as currant jelly, gooseberry jam, raisins, gingerbread, eggs, cheese, butter, tea, sugar, &c. A few simple medicines should also be at hand, and all should take physic whenever they come ashore, even though they should not be sick. For want of this precaution, many are laid up with a flux, for months after they arrive, and most of the children that die are carried off by that disorder.

           Emigrants should bring plenty of warm clothing for winter, and some that is lighter for the summer. The winter is colder and the summer warmer than with you, and it would be very inconvenient to wear the same kind of clothes in both seasons. All kinds of clothing, indeed, as well as other necessaries, may be purchased at Montreal, but at a somewhat higher rate than in Britain. Those who have money should not lay it out in the purchase of goods expecting to get profit by them. This may have been an advantage formerly but it is seldom so now. I have even known instances of persons who brought out goods, selling them for less than they cost at home. They should bring all they have in ready cash, namely, in gold and silver, or in bills upon some good house in Quebec or Montreal. English shillings pass at 13d., half-crowns at 2s. 9d., Spanish dollars at 5s., and other silver coins in proportion - seven shilling pieces at 7s. 9d. and guineas at full weight, at 23s. 10-1/2d.

           Those who wish to settle in the lower province will everywhere find opportunities of buying or renting land, but emigrants generally prefer the upper province, on account of its milder climate. In the seignories in the lower province, the feudal system still prevails, but in this, the lands granted by the crown are all freehold. Land, in its natural state in this neighbourhood, sells for from five to forty shillings an acre, according to its goodness and situation. But emigrants who have the means, will find it a better plan to buy a farm on which some improvement has already been made, than to settle upon wild lands back in the woods. A farm of a hundred acres, with a small house and a few acres cleared, may be obtained for from fifty to a hundred pounds.

           The hardships of a new settlement, in a wild country, are greater than most people suppose. The north bank of the St. Lawrence was settled at the termination of the revolutionary war, about forty years ago, by loyalists and discharged soldiers. The country was then an entire forest, and the settlers were from fifty to a hundred miles from a mill, and nearly as far from a store at which necessaries could be procured. Hence they were often forced to grind their grain in coffee-mills, or boil and eat it whole. From an old and respectable officer I had the following account, which will throw some light upon the condition of the settlers, at the period to which it refers. One of his men had been constantly employed for some days, with a hand-mill, grinding wheat for the use of the rest, when he resolved to attempt providing flour at a less expensive rate. He dispatched his negro servant to Kingston mill with a horse and sleigh and a small load of wheat. Five or six others went at the same time. No road being then opened, they had to cut their way through the woods in the best manner they could. But there was a little snow on the ground and the rivers were frozen over. After about a fortnight's absence the men returned, having effected their object, but without much benefit; for they and the horses, during their absence, had consumed the greater part of their loads. None of the settlers here are so far from a mill, yet some of them are from ten to twenty miles; and, till the roads were opened, they had to carry the grain all that distance on their backs.

           A few years ago there was a post between the towns once a fortnight, and that carried slowly by a man on foot -- now it comes twice a-week, and travels with the greatest dispatch, either on horseback or in the stage. The large rivers and lakes are navigated, not only by small craft, but by large steam-vessels fitted up in the most commodious manner. The Frontenac, which sails every week, during the summer, between Kingston, York, and Niagara, is 170 feet long and 32 broad upon the deck, and carries a burden of 740 tons.


SHIPS BOUND FOR Montreal generally make a short stay at Quebec till they are entered at the customhouse. Emigrants have then an opportunity of going ashore to see the city and fortifications, to procure necessaries, and to transact business. Should an unfavourable wind, or other cause, detain the vessel longer than they wish to remain, they may proceed to Montreal by one of the steam-boats, which leave Quebec two or three times a-week during the summer. The distance is 180 miles; but one day, or perhaps a little more, will bring them to Montreal. There, at the Emigrants' Office, they may procure much useful information, or they may purchase whatever stores and necessaries they may be in want of. Tea, sugar, spirits, bread, &c. are cheaper than in Britain, but articles of clothing and hardware are dearer. Those who wish to settle near Montreal will find abundance of land, either to be let or sold, but it will be dearer than that at a distance. Those who intend to proceed to the upper province, must procure carts to convey their baggage to La Chine, which is nine miles higher up. The river, all the way, is full of dangerous rapids, but a canal is now cutting between Montreal and La Chine, which, when finished, will obviate that difficulty. At La Chine boats may be hired to Kingston, which is 200 miles above Montreal, or to any shorter distance. A steamboat sails three times a-week between Prescott and Kingston, a distance of sixty-eight miles. Two hundred and eighty from the latter place, the steamboat Frontenac, sails every week during the summer, to York and Niagara. Those who intend to proceed farther, will have to travel eighteen miles by land and then embark at Chippewa, and traverse Lake Erie, or if they prefer it, they can proceed all the way to the Talbot Settlement by land.

           Those who intend to reside in the Perth or Lanark Settlement ought to land at Brockville, which is 132 miles above Montreal. They can easily procure waggons to carry them to Perth, which is forty-two miles, or to Lanark, which is fifty-six miles from Brockville. The expense of conveyance from Montreal to Perth is about two dollars a cwt. In these new settlements lands may, at any time, be purchased or rented at a moderate rate, and no place in Canada presents a more agreeable residence for British emigrants. Those who prefer the Richmond Settlement, may either come by Perth, or, which is a nearer way, proceed from La Chine up the Ottawa, and land at the point of Nepean, which is about 120 miles above Montreal. The distance from the point or landing place to Richmond, is about twenty miles. From this settlement, a considerable quantity of both timber and staves have been exported during the present year, 1823.

           The county of Carleton, in which the military settlements are situated, did not, till 1816, receive any settlers except a few in the township of Nepean, but so rapidly has its population, since that time, increased, that in 1823 it contains about 5000. At present it may be viewed as an inland place, but it is watered by several fine rivers which fall into the Ottawa. These, by a little improvement, will be rendered navigable for boats, by which a communication may be carried on with Montreal at a moderate expense. The military road, too, which is now opened from the Point of Nepean to Kingston, and the canal which is soon to be commenced, will all tend to render it one of the most thriving districts in Upper Canada.

           After so much has been said and written on the subject of Canada, any geographical description of it may seem quite superfluous. Take, however, the following brief notices. They may be interesting to some, if not to all, whose reading is not extensive. Its extent has never been accurately defined, but it may be averaged at 1500 miles in length and 200 in breadth. It is divided into two provinces, called the Upper and the Lower: the Ottawa, in a great part of its course, forming the boundary line between them. Canada is bounded by the United States on the south and east, and by Indian lands, little known, except by fur traders, on the north and west. The St. Lawrence, one of the largest rivers in the world, rises near its western boundary, and, after running 2000 miles, and forming a number of large lakes in its course, falls into the ocean at the Island of Cape Breton. This noble river intersects the lower province nearly in the middle, and is the principal source of its wealth and prosperity.

           On approaching Lower Canada from the sea, one is apt to form a very unfavourable opinion of it. The shores are bold and rocky, the forest extends to the water's side, and the snow lies in some places till the end of May. On advancing a little way, however, the aspect of the country improves, the land is more level, the climate more mild, and thriving settlements appear scattered along the south bank of the river. The soil of the lower province is exceedingly various. About Quebec it is a dark brown loam; higher up it is sandy; and above Montreal a stiff clay prevails.

           Quebec is the capital of the province, and a place of considerable trade. It is built upon a rocky hill, on the north bank of the St. Lawrence, About 400 miles from its mouth. It contains about 20,000 inhabitants, and sends four members to the provincial parliament. It is strongly fortified, both by nature and art, and is capable of withstanding a regular siege. Being the principal port, all the shipping have to enter and clear out at the custom-house. The method here employed, of collecting all the duties at one place, is a great saving in expense. Part of the imports being consumed in the upper province, its government receives a share of the revenue according to a proportion previously agreed on. The French language still prevails; the English inhabitants forming much the smallest part of the population.

           The city of Montreal stands on the east side of an island of the same name, twenty-one miles long, and fourteen broad at the junction of the Ottawa and the St. Lawrence. Its population increased rapidly during the last war, and many enriched themselves by the lucrative trade which they carried on with the upper province and the United States. They amount to about 30,000, and send four members to the provincial parliament. About one half are of French, and the other half of English extraction; but the greater part can speak both French and English. They are distinguished by hospitality, activity, and enterprise, as the inhabitants of commercial cities generally are. Orchards abound in the neighbourhood, and the Agricultural Society, established in 1817, has given considerable encouragement to the farming interest, which was previously in a very low state.

           The town of Three Rivers stands on the north bank of the St. Lawrence, half way between Quebec and Montreal. It contains about 4000 inhabitants, the most of whom speak the French language. At a short distance from the town there are extensive iron works, which furnish cast goods of various kinds, both for domestic use and for exportation. Besides the above, there are in the lower province a few towns, or villages, of some importance, of which the principal are William Henry, forty-five miles below Montreal, Laprarie opposite to that city, and Chambly, nearby on the Richlieu River, sixteen miles farther east.

           The St. Lawrence is navigable for the largest ships to Quebec, for trading vessels to Montreal, and for batteau and Durham boats to Prescott, where sloop navigation again begins. The original French settlers were instructed by their government to found a city as far up the river as trading ships could ascend; and in this they have strictly complied with their orders; for Montreal, which has its name from a mountain in the middle of the island, is built close to the bottom of the first dangerous rapids. There is indeed a considerable current below the city, but ships can ascend it with a strong east wind. The La Chine canal joins the river just below this current where no doubt warehouses will be built and ships unloaded.

           Lower Canada is divided into seventeen counties which, together with the towns, send fifty members to the provincial parliament. This branch of the legislature has been dissolved four times since the year 1808, before the period prescribed by the constitution, in consequence of their opposition to the measures of government. The Legislative Council, which may correspond with the House of Peers in England, consists of thirty-three members. The Governor General is Commander of the Forces.

           The present inhabitants of Lower Canada, being chiefly descended from the original French settlers, speak the French language, profess the Roman Catholic religion, and cultivate their land in the old French fashion. They still retain all the gaiety, hospitality, and thoughtlessness of that nation. But though the Canadians are Roman Catholics, they discover very little of that intolerance of other denominations, which has often marked the character of that communion in other parts of the world.

           Upper Canada, though more elevated than the lower province, yet, being more to the south, possesses a milder climate; and, in consequence, offers better encouragement to agricultural pursuits. The first settlers being discharged soldiers and loyalists, who had lands assigned them at the end or the first American war, settled along the north bank of the St. Lawrence, about forty years ago. Since that time the population has received accessions every year of emigrants, both from Great Britain and the United States. From the former, indeed, it received few, till within the last eight years, being overlooked as a place of little or no importance; but of late many thousands, who could well be spared from home, settled upon its plains, and are now employing their energies with advantage, both to themselves and their country. The English language is, of course, generally spoken through the province.

           York is the seat of government, and has already assumed the appearance of a town, though it was laid out only in 1797. It was taken and partly burnt by the Americans during the late war. Its population is something short of 1500, though some travellers have represented it as amounting to more than twice that number. The town stands on a plain, at the head of a bay, on the north shore of Lake Ontario. It is 175 miles west from Kingston, and 375 from Montreal. It contains a handsome building, lately erected, for the accommodation of the two houses of Assembly. The country in the neighbourhood is well cultivated, and supplies its market with abundance of provisions at a moderate rate.

           Kingston, which is situated at the outlet of Lake Ontario, though not the seat of government, is both the oldest and the largest town in the province. It is built on a point of land formed by a bay on the one side, and the lake on the other. It was laid out in 1784, and contains, in 1823, a population of 2000, besides the garrison. The houses are mostly built of limestone, which is found in the neighbourhood in the greatest abundance, and of an excellent quality. When first dug, it is of an azure colour, but after exposure to the air for some time, it becomes nearly white. The fort and the naval dock yard are situated about a mile to the eastward of the town, on the opposite side of the bay. Here the little navy, employed upon the lake during the last war, is dismantled, and rests in peace. The largest vessel is the St. Lawrence, built for 100 guns.

           Niagara is the next town in importance. It is pleasantly situated on the west side of the St. Lawrence, or Niagara River, where it falls into Lake Ontario. Queenstown is eight miles higher up, and is the place where goods intended for the upper part of the province are landed, to be carried beyond the falls. It is a thriving and agreeable place, and already contains many good houses, though it was burnt by the American army during the last war. The celebrated falls of Niagara are seven miles above Queenstown; but I need add nothing to what has already been said of them by travellers.

           The county of Lincoln, which lies on the west side of the Niagara River, is by far the most populous in the province, and contains 14,000 inhabitants. The province is divided into twenty five counties, contains 120,000 inhabitants, and sends forty members to the House of Assembly. Each county, the population of which does not exceed 4000, sends one representative, but if it has more than that number, it sends two. The legislative council consists of twelve members. The members of the House of Assembly are chosen by British subjects, who possess a freehold of forty shillings of clear annual value in the country, or of £5 clear annual value in a town, or renting a house of at least £10 a-year. Any British subject may offer himself as a candidate, who is possessed of a freehold estate in the province, of the assessed value of £80, free of an encumbrance. The members are paid for their services at the rate of two dollars a-day. An election takes place once in four years, but the House of Assembly may be dissolved any time at the Governor's pleasure.

           Since the year 1792, all the benefits of the British constitution have been enjoyed by this colony. It was then divided into two provinces, and had a House of Assembly and Legislative Council constituted in each. They have power with the consent of the Governor, to make laws, provided they are not contrary to British acts Of Parliament. If any of the bills they pass seem doubtful, they are reserved for the King's approbation, who may refuse his assent any time within two years.


CANADA IS A country susceptible of immense improvement. Its navigable rivers are numerous, and its lakes of an extent unknown in other parts of the world. Both offer a quick and easy communication between the different parts of the province. A few short canals would render the country accessible by water in all directions. Its plains are fertile; and though the greater part of the country is still covered with wood, they must one day submit to the hand of industry, and support a numerous population. The country is in general rather level than otherwise, yet every river affords falls, and some of them sufficient to drive the heaviest machinery. Since the restoration of peace, every year adds a few thousands to the population, and increases the extent of cleared land, which still bears a small proportion to the immense forests on the back ground.

           The lakes formed by the St. Lawrence are not only the largest, but the best known. On ascending that river, the first we meet with is Lake St. Peter, about a hundred miles above Quebec. It is said to be thirty miles long and sixteen broad. The depth is generally from twelve to fifteen feet. Though this lake is 500 miles from the ocean, yet so level is the river, that the tide has been sensibly perceived at its entrance.

           Lake St. Louis is merely an expansion of the St. Lawrence at the upper end of the island of Montreal, and is connected with the Lake of the Two Mountains, at the mouth of the Ottawa River. It is about fifteen miles in length and seven miles in breadth. It contains several islands, the largest of which is Isle Perault, or Perrot.

           Lake St. Francis is entered at Coteau du Lac, forty-seven miles above Montreal. It is thirty miles long and thirteen broad; and, like all the rest, includes a number of islands. The River Raisin, which traverses the county of Glengary, falls into it on the north side.

           Through Kingston has generally been considered the lower end of Lake Ontario, yet properly speaking it extends to Prescott, sixty-eight miles lower. On reaching this place we have passed all the rapids, the river becomes still, and is a mile and a half across. As we ascend, it increases in breadth till we reach Kingston, where it is about twelve miles over. This expanse of water is spotted with an immense number of islands, from which it has the name of the Lake of the Thousand Islands. Wolfe's Island, commonly called Long Island, is by far the largest, being twenty miles long, and six broad. It contains a large proportion of good land, and is partly settled.

           Lake Ontario is of an oval figure, 230 miles in length, measuring from Kingston, and sixty in breadth at the widest part. Its water is remarkably transparent, and in some places very deep. It has been sounded in the middle with a line of 350 fathoms without reaching the bottom. Its islands are not numerous, but its banks afford abundance of excellent limestone for building. On its south shore lies the Gennessee country in the state of New York, where many Dutch and Scotch families are settled in a fertile and flourishing neighbourhood.

           Lake Erie is 350 miles in length, and sixty in breadth at the widest part. It pours its waters into Lake Ontario by the Niagara River, on which are the famous falls of that name. It contains more islands than Lake Ontario. Its depth is not great, varying from fifteen to eighteen fathoms, over a bottom of limestone rock. Its shallowness occasions it to be much agitated in storms, rendering its navigation both difficult and dangerous. On its banks, of late, numerous settlements have been formed, particularly the Talbot settlement, where improvement is making rapid advances. The climate being good, the soil fertile, and the settlers industrious, it bids fair to become one of the most fruitful parts of the colony.

           Lake St. Clair, though of small dimensions, is the next we meet in ascending the St. Lawrence. It commences above Detroit, and extends to forty miles in length and twenty in breadth.

           Lake Huron is of a triangular shape, each side measuring from 250 to 300 miles in length. Its islands are numerous, among which is one 100 miles long and eight broad, held sacred by the Indians as the residence of some of their divinities. This lake abounds with excellent fish, especially with a kind of trout, some of which are from four to five feet long, and weighing from sixty to seventy pounds.

           Lake Superior is the largest body of fresh water in the world. It is 500 miles in length, 100 in breadth, and 1600 in circumference. Its bottom is rocky and uneven, and its depth in many places is very great. It receives the waters of about forty rivers, though its only visible outlet is the St. Lawrence, of which it may be considered the source. It contains several islands, one of which, Isle Royale, is about 100 miles long and forty broad. Its northern banks are high and rocky, but afford some mines of virgin copper. It communicates with Lake Huron by the straits of St. Mary, but the St. Lawrence is here so rapid as not to be navigable by vessels of any description. The climate is cold, and the soil around the lake for the most part barren.

           Besides the above, there is a great number of lakes in Canada, and some of them of considerable extent; but being mostly in the Indian territory their extent is not so well known. I shall, however, notice a few in the districts which are now settling. The largest of these is Lake Simcoe, which lies fifty miles to the north of York. Its extent is much the same as that of Lake St. Clair between the capital and the lake. A main road, called Yonge Street, has been opened, and is now well settled on both sides. To the southeast of Lake Simcoe, a chain of lakes, of smaller extent stretches near a hundred miles. The outlet of these is a large river, which falls into the Bay of Quintè, fifty miles above Kingston.

           The largest piece of water in this neighbourhood is the Rideau Lake. Lying parallel with the St. Lawrence, and seven miles distant from Perth, it extends to nearly thirty miles in length and varies in breadth from six miles to two hundred yards. In the widest part of this lake there are several islands, but not of great extent. The land on its banks is generally good, though in a few spots it is rocky and of little value.

           The Mississippi Lake is eight miles to the north of Perth. Its length is about twelve miles, and its breadth varies from four miles to half a mile. It affords abundance of fish to the settlers in the neighbourhood, who kill them with spears in great numbers in the spring, when ascending the river to spawn. Some of the islands in the lake are still inhabited by Indians, whose hunting ground is on the north side, and who are far from being pleased with the encroachments our settlers are making on their territories. There are many other lakes, but of smaller dimensions than those I have mentioned.

           Canada was long overlooked in Britain, or considered a place of very little importance. This is a very great mistake. Besides all its other advantages, which are numerous, it presents an extensive field for settling emigrants with benefit both to themselves and the mother country. The two provinces are capable, if brought into cultivation, of supporting a population equal to that of Great Britain; yet all they contain at present do not amount to 300,000, and a large proportion of these are very poor. Were a few persons possessing capital and enterprise to settle here they would be of immense advantage to the country, and might eventually benefit themselves. As they would obtain land at a moderate rate, so they would not be troubled with those heavy taxes of which they complain at home. Here we pay no taxes, except what are necessary for the administration of justice in our own district. To a farmer on a hundred acres of land, they seldom amount to more than a dollar a-year, and he may raise his own tobacco, make his own soap and candles, and tan his leather if he chooses, without the danger of a visit from an exciseman. Some have even made their own whisky, but this is unnecessary, as they can carry their grain to the distillery, and get its value in spirits or beer. There are already three distilleries in this settlement, and more have been proposed. Whisky is already selling so low as half a dollar a gallon, which has no favourable effect on the morals of our population.

           Stamp duties have never yet been imposed which affords a freedom and facility to the transacting of business, quite pleasing to those who have long grumbled at this encumbrance. The revenues of the province are chiefly raised from tavern, still, and other licenses, together with the duties levied on imported goods.

           The exports of Canada consist chiefly in furs, timber, staves, pot and pearl ashes. What has been said about exporting provisions, is in a great measure founded on a mistake. The flour, pork, beef, and other articles, shipped from the St. Lawrence, come chiefly from the United States. Agriculture is there better understood, and is conducted with greater spirit than in this country. The farmers in the State of New York not only send down great quantities of flour and other provision to Montreal, but they come over to Canada in the winter, when the sleighing is good, and undersell our settlers in their own markets. Last winter, and the winter before, they brought their produce more than a hundred miles, and sold it here; the best beef and pork for 3d. a pound, flour at 4 dollars a barrel, and whisky at half a dollar a gallon. It is true there is a duty upon American produce brought into Canada, but when the river can be crossed at any part upon the ice it cannot be collected.

           The fur trade is one of which we know little or nothing. It is carried on chiefly by the servants of the North-West Company, at a great distance back among the Indians, in the uncultivated parts of the country. A few bears, martins, musk rats, &c. are killed in the settlement every year, the skins of which are sold to the merchants.

           Since the termination of the war, money has become very scarce. This has induced the farmers to begin to manufacture their own clothing. Most of them have a few sheep, which succeed very well. While the mutton supplies their tables, the wool is spun and manufactured into cloth by the female part of the family. It is no unusual thing to see a loom in a farmer's house, especially among the American part of the population. The hides of the cattle they kill are sent to the tanwork, and they receive half of it back when dressed, the tanner retaining the other half for his trouble. This they work up into shoes, when the weather does not permit their pursuing the labour of the field.

           Almost every farmer manufactures sugar in the spring to last his family through the year. When this is spent, they frequently drink their tea without sugar, till the spring brings them a new supply. Almost every article of provision and clothing is raised upon their own farms, but the few articles they must purchase from the merchant, they pay with ashes, timber, staves, wheat, flour, butter, cheese, or butcher meat.

           Our forests afford a great variety of timber. The kinds of most use for exportation are oak, pine, birch, and maple; the two former for building, and the two latter for cabinet work. They are also in demand here for the same purpose, mahogany being little used. From maple trees sugar is made, and the wood is the best of any for fuel.

           Apple trees are of various kinds; they are seldom grafted, and yet bear abundance of fruit, especially near rivers and lakes; but upon high grounds they are sometimes destroyed by the severity of the cold in winter. Plums both green and red are abundant and easily raised. Cherries of several sorts are also to be met with, but the trees imported from Britain produce the best fruit. This is also the case with gooseberries, currants, strawberries, &c. which are both abundant and good. Those growing wild in the woods are of little use. Wild vines are to be met with, and some of them produce very good grapes, though they are small.

           The horses in the lower province are mostly of the Canadian breed. They are not large, but remarkably strong and hardy; and upon a good road, one of them will drag a light sleigh, with two persons in it, fifty miles a-day for several days in succession. In the upper province, American horses of a larger breed are more in use. Carts are rarely met with here. Waggons are generally used, and the horses are harnessed in pairs.

           The wild animals found in the woods are numerous; but few of them are either troublesome or dangerous as they generally retire, and keep at a distance from the habitations of man. The most common are bears, foxes, wolves, raccoons, beavers, otters, martins, minks, squirrels, hares, rabbits, muskrats, and a few others. The bears are the most dangerous, and are held in great terror, although I have not heard of any person in this settlement being injured by any of them. Many have been seen, and some have been shot. The animals most troublesome to the farmers are squirrels, of which there are two species, one brown and the other grey, equally destructive to crops both in fields and gardens. Though they are very injurious in the autumn to the growing crops; they do most mischief in the spring by taking up the seed out of the ground; I have seen a field of Indian corn entirely ruined by them, so that it was necessary to plant it a second, and even a third time. The number killed by some farmers in the course of a year almost exceeds belief. There is another species, called the black squirrel much larger than the two former, but it seems scarce, being seldom seen. Most of our wild animals are hunted for the sake of their furs, which form a considerable article of trade.

           Of birds there are many kinds. The principal are eagles, vultures, owls, night hawks, fish hawks, cranes, geese, wild ducks, partridges, snow birds, teal, wild pigeons, black birds, thrushes, larks, and various other kinds. The wood-pigeons pass to the northward in the spring, and return in the fall in immense numbers. When they happen to alight upon a newly sown field, they scarcely leave a grain, if not disturbed. Great numbers of them are taken in nets; but they are more frequently shot, and are generally found to be fat, and good eating.

           The rivers and lakes, with which the country abounds, are well stocked with fish of various kinds; such as salmon, chub, carp, pike, black bass, pickerel, and sturgeon, which are both large and good. In catching them, hooks and lines are seldom employed. They are generally speared, or taken in nets in the rapids of rivers.

           Snakes are numerous, though few of them are of a mischievous disposition. Rattlesnakes are sometimes seen in the upper part of the province, but never, that I have heard of, in this settlement. Those striped with green and yellow, usually called garter snakes, are frequently met with in the woods. They are perfectly harmless, though they are apt to alarm a stranger with their hissing.

           There are various kinds of insects, but mosquitoes are the most troublesome. They make their appearance about the beginning of May. and in a few days, if the weather is hot, the woods swarm with them. They are the scourge of every new settlement; but where the woods are cleared away they are seldom seen. Their legs are long, and slender, and they have, upon the whole, a very feeble appearance. The body is about a quarter of an inch long, and both in shape and colour resembles that of a wasp. Their proboscis, as well as their legs, is slender, but their bite is severe, and produces a certain degree of inflammation, so that it is more painful afterwards than at the time the wound is made. If the part is rubbed or scratched, it swells, and sometimes produces serious consequences. Attempts have been made, by rubbing the skin with various preparations, to drive them away; but, so blood thirsty are they, that nothing will keep them off. The hands, face, and neck, are most exposed to their attacks, but no part is safe, as they easily thrust their proboscis through the thin dress worn in summer. After a person has been all day exposed to their stings, it greatly mitigates the pain to rub the parts affected with strong vinegar. Moisture seems to favour their production, as they are more numerous, as well as more troublesome, in a wet summer than in a dry one. They are also more annoying in a showery warm day, than in one that is dry, whether hot or cold. Smoke is the only application which has any effect in driving them away; but this is so effectual, that a fire of wet chips is lighted near the door of almost every house in summer evenings for the purpose of keeping them at a distance. They continue during the four warmest months, but when the weather becomes cold they disappear.

           A species of small black flies, common in this country, may be ranked next to mosquitoes for mischief. They are more troublesome in the morning and evening than during the day. They settle among the hair, round the face, and in the neck, disfiguring the place they attack, by taking out a small piece of the skin. They are very annoying in May and June, but in July they disappear. Sand flies are a very small kind of grey gnats, just visible to the naked eye, but no less troublesome than the black flies while their attack continues, which fortunately is only a few warm nights every summer. Where houses are near swamps or rivers, they enter by thousands and attack the inmates, driving away sleep, and producing the most uneasy sensations.

           The fire-fly is the greatest curiosity to be found among the insects of this country. It is of a brown colour, and about the size of a bug. When it flies in the dark it emits a bright phosphoric light. In low grounds, where they abound, it is amusing to see hundreds of them dancing about in the dark, like as many sparks of fire. Butterflies are numerous, and attract attention, by the beauty of their colours and the size of their wings. Crickets, resembling grasshoppers, are also very troublesome to new settlers, eating holes in their clothes, especially when they find them in a dirty or greasy condition. But all of these insects become less numerous as the cultivation of the land advances.


THE FOLLOWING TABLES will give some idea of the stages between Quebec and Montreal, between Montreal and Kingston, and between Kingston and York. 

Table of Distances from Quebec to Montreal.

From Quebec to

12        Lorett.
30        18        Cape Sante.
45        33        15        Dechambeau.
60        48        30        15        St. Ann's.
90        78        60        45        30        Three Rivers.
105      93        75        60        45        15        Mackiske.
117      105      87        72        57        27        12        Masquenonge.
135      123      105      90        60        45        33        18        Berthier.
150      138      120      105      90        60        45        33        15        Laventre.
165      153      135      120      105      75        60        48        30        15        End of Montreal Island.
180      168      150      135      120      90        75        63        45        30        15        Montreal.

Table of Distances from Montreal

From Montreal to

9                      La Chine.

18                    9                      Point Clair.

27                    18                    9                      Isle.

36                    27                    18                    9                      Cedars.

47                    38                    29                    20                    11                    Coteau du Lac.

56                    47                    38                    29                    20                    9                      Point Boudet.

57                    48                    39                    30                    21                    10                    1                      Province Line.

64                    55                    46                    37                    28                    17                    8                      7                      Lancaster.

67                    58                    49                    40                    31                    20                    11                    10                    3                      River Rasin.

80                    71                    62                    53                    44                    33                    24                    23                    16                    13                    Colquhoun.

84                    75                    66                    57                    48                    37                    28                    27                    20                    17                    4                      Cornwall.

89                    80                    71                    62                    53                    42                    33                    32                    25                    22                    9                      5                      Mill Roche.

92                    83                    74                    65                    56                    45                    36                    35                    28                    25                    12                    8                      3                      Matice's.

107                  98                    89                    80                    71                    60                    51                    50                    43                    40                    27                    23                    18                    15                    Cook's.

117                  108                  99                    90                    81                    70                    61                    60                    53                    50                    37                    33                    28                    25                    10                    Shaver's.

129                  120                  111                  102                  93                    82                    73                    72                    65                    62                    49                    45                    40                    37                    22                    12                        Johnstown.

132                  123                  114                  105                  96                    85                    78                    75                    68                    65                    52                    48                    43                    40                    25                    15                        3                      Prescott.

144                  135                  126                  117                  108                  97                    88                    87                    80                    77                    64                    60                    55                    52                    37                    27                        15                    12                    Brockville.

154                  145                  136                  127                  118                  107                  98                    97                    90                    87                    74                    70                    65                    62                    47                    37                        25                    22                    10                    Stephen Andrew's.

166                  157                  148                  139                  130                  119                  110                  109                  102                  99                    86                    82                    77                    74                    59                    49                        37                    34                    22                    12                    Daniel Baldwin's.

176                  167                  158                  149                  140                  129                  120                  119                  112                  109                  96                    92                    87                    84                    69                    59                        47                    44                    32                    22                    10                    Gananoque.

190                  181                  172                  163                  154                  143                  134                  133                  126                  123                  110                  106                  101                  98                    83                    73                        61                    58                    46                    36                    24                    14                    Franklin's.

200                  191                  182                  173                  154                  153                  144                  143                  136                  133                  120                  116                  111                  108                  93                    83                        71                    68                    56                    46                    34                    24                    10                    Kingston.

Table of Distances from Kingston to York

From Kingston to

18                    Bath.

31                    13                    Nappane Mills.

37                    19                    6                      Bowen's.

51                    33                    20                    14                    Magbee's.

58                    40                    27                    21                    7                      Bellville.

70                    52                    39                    33                    19                    12                    Trent.

80                    62                    49                    43                    29                    22                    10                    Sandford's.

88                    70                    57                    51                    37                    30                    18                    8                      Keelor's.

96                    78                    65                    59                    45                    38                    26                    16                    8                      Groover's.

88                    86                    73                    67                    53                    46                    34                    24                    16                    8                      Cobourg.

106                  88                    75                    69                    55                    48                    36                    26                    18                    10                    2                      The Courthouse Hamilton.

111                  93                    80                    74                    60                    53                    41                    31                    23                    15                    7                      5                      Smith's Creek.

119                  101                  88                    82                    68                    61                    49                    39                    31                    23                    15                    13                    8                      Orton's.

130                  112                  99                    93                    79                    72                    60                    50                    42                    34                    26                    24                    19                    11                    Blair's.

145                  127                  114                  108                  94                    87                    75                    65                    57                    49                    41                    39                    34                    26                    15                    Still's.

160                  142                  129                  123                  109                  102                  90                    80                    72                    64                    56                    54                    49                    41                    30                    15                        Galloway's.

175                  153                  140                  138                  124                  117                  105                  95                    87                    79                    71                    69                    64                    56                    45                    30                        15                    York.

[Editor's note: there are a few errors in the numbers in the original charts, and they have been faithfully repeated above.]

Abstract of the Population for 1820 for those parts of the Province of Upper Canada which are actually organized into Counties and Districts.

Counties, &c.                 Number of Inhabitants

Glengary,       "       "       "       "      5782
Stormont,       "       "       "       "      4571
Dundas,         "       "       "       "      2195
Russell,        "       "       "       "       107
Prescott,       "       "       "       "      1567
Grenville,      "       "       "       "      4373
Leeds,          "       "       "       "      6722
Carleton,       "       "       "       "      3699
Frontenac, (exclusive of the town of Kingston) 2901
Town of Kingston,       "       "       "      1880
Lennox and Addington,   "       "       "      5724
Hastings,       "       "       "       "      2520
Prince Edward,  "       "       "       "      6079
Northumberland, "       "       "       "      4322
Durham,         "       "       "       "      1783
Simcoe,         "       "       "       "       148
York, (exclusive of the Town of York)   "      9593
Town of York,   "       "       "       "      1240
Lincoln,        "       "       "       "    13,787
Wentworth,      "       "       "       "      4959
Halton,         "       "       "       "      4796
Norfolk,        "       "       "       "      4178
Oxford,         "       "       "       "      2455
Middlesex,      "       "       "       "      5243
Kent,           "       "       "       "      1624
Essex,          "       "       "       "      3732

           The opening of roads in a new settlement is always attended with trouble and expense. This is well known to the people in the county of Carleton; but their difficulties would have been much greater had it not been for the liberal assistance they have received from government. The first settlers at Perth had to open a road about twenty miles into the woods for themselves; but they received rations while they were so employed. One part of it was opened by a contractor, who received fifty pounds from Government for his trouble. But all that was done at that time was merely making an opening through the woods wide enough to let a waggon pass. The legislature, two years afterwards, voted the sum of £500 to improve the same road, and clear it to the full width of sixty feet. But this grant, liberal as it was, made but little appearance when laid out upon a road covered with heavy timber, and crossed by numerous creeks.

           In 1820, when the first emigrants on the Government grant arrived from Glasgow, it became necessary to open a road from Perth to the new settlement at Lanark. This cost the sum of £200, and the expense was defrayed by the Commander of the Forces out of the military chest. About the same time, when the military road began to be opened from the Grand River to Kingston, through Richmond and Perth, his Excellency granted £400 toward this undertaking, and the Legislature granted £200 more. Thus, in the course of a very few years, £1350 of public money, besides the statute labour of a great number of men and oxen, have been expended on these roads, and yet a great deal more must be done before they are good.

           In an extensive but thinly inhabited country like Canada, the postage of letters comes to be very heavy. They were, till lately, charged as high and sometimes higher than they are in Britain; but in 1822 a reduction took place. In the parliament of 1821 it was determined that all matters to or from the members during the future sessions should be paid by the clerk, and charged in his account of contingent expenses. Previous to that time, members of Parliament and their correspondents had to pay the postage of their letters the same as others. This sometimes came to be very heavy, especially upon the members who are not in general wealthy.

           During the last war, when the American army invaded Canada, it destroyed a great deal of property, both public and private, especially on the Niagara frontier. Those who had lost private property petitioned Government for compensation, and steps were taken to afford them redress. Commissioners were appointed to ascertain the amount of their losses. The demands of some individuals appeared extravagant, and the amount of their claims was so great that it was difficult to determine how they could be all satisfied. The first means employed was to sell all the forfeited estates of the traitors who had gone over to the enemy, and to employ the proceeds in compensating those who had suffered by the war. The produce of the sales, however, did not amount to fifteen thousand pounds, which was not a tenth part of the claims put in. The Parliament of Great Britain has since taken notice of the delay, and steps are now taking to make good the losses by instalments. Five shillings in the pound will be paid in the summer of 1823.

           In 1821, the merchants in Canada were alarmed by a report that His Majesty's Government intended to lay a duty upon timber from the British colonies in North America, or to reduce the duty upon that from the Baltic. Either of these would be ruinous to the trade of Canada, and numerous and strong remonstrances were sent home on the subject. The evil was averted for the present, but for how long we know not. The produce of our forests is almost the only article we have to pay for our imports from Britain, and the price is at present so low as barely to defray the expense of bringing it to market. But should a duty be imposed, ruin to the trade, and consequently to Canada, would be the consequence. Nor would the mother country herself be uninjured. A market for her manufactures would be lost, and many of her ships and seamen would be thrown out of employment.

           No country stands more in need of inland navigation, or offers greater facilities for carrying it into effect, than Upper Canada. The St. Lawrence has hitherto been the principal highway to the province. But it contains many rapids which are difficult to ascend. And, besides, being the boundary between Upper Canada and the United States, whenever a war takes place, the enemy have it in their power to capture any supplies that may pass that way: hence the necessity of a navigation by some other route less exposed. This has long been an object both with Government and the colonists; the one to convey stores in time of war, and the other to convey their produce to market. With a view to effect this desirable object, the House of Assembly, in 1822, appointed commissioners to explore and survey the internal communications of the province, to prepare plans and estimates for the improvement of the inland navigation, and to report their opinions as to the most eligible and practicable routes for effecting the same. They also voted the sum of three thousand pounds to defray the expense of the plans, surveys, &c. The proposed canal is to connect the Grand River with Lake Ontario near Kingston. It will be more than a hundred miles in length, and it is expected will pass through some part of Perth settlement. When it is completed, boats may pass between the upper and lower province with produce or stores, without being exposed to the frontiers of the United States. Another canal has been proposed to connect Lakes Ontario and Erie, so as to avoid the falls of Niagara. The distance between these lakes is said to be about thirty miles, and many locks will be wanted to enable boats to pass from the one to the other. By the report of the American Canal Commissioners, it appears that the Great Western Canal, which is to connect the waters of Lake Erie with those of the Hudson at Albany, is about 353 miles in length. Its width on the surface of the water is forty feet, at the bottom twenty-eight, and its depth four feet. The length of the locks is ninety, and the width is twelve feet. The estimate of the total expense of completing the canal is 4,881,738 dollars; or at the average rate, including the expense of constructing 77 locks, of about 13,830, or a little more than £3000 Sterling per mile. Should the canal, to connect Lake Erie with Montreal, be of the same dimensions, this will enable us pretty nearly to estimate the expense.

           The population of Upper Canada has been rapidly increasing ever since the termination of the late war. The average of emigrants from Great Britain and Ireland arriving at Quebec for a number of years past, is about 10,000 annually. A great proportion of these, perhaps one half, go afterwards to the United States, but the half that remains will go far to settle seven or eight entire townships ten miles square. For it must be remembered that the clergy reserves in every township occupy one seventh of the whole surface and there is generally another seventh of water, rock, and swamp, on which no settlement can be made. But the number of emigrants who have come, need not deter others who intend to come, for there are still vast tracts of forest land unoccupied. Almost every year from ten to twenty new townships are surveyed and laid open for location. Most of the new townships are ten miles square, and contain 66,000 acres, including roads. Formerly the surveying of these lands was attended with a considerable expense to government, but a new plan has been adopted, which saves the expense. The surveyor receives for his work a part of the land surveyed, commonly about one per cent. The greatest evil attending the land granted by government, is its distance from markets and good roads. This circumstance induces many of the new settlers who have money, to purchase cultivated land, which they can always do at a very moderate rate. The north bank of the St. Lawrence, and of the lakes from whence it flows, were the places first settled, and they are still called the front or the old settlements. In the lower parts of the province these are occupied by loyalists or discharged soldiers. But in the upper part of the province emigrants from the United States are more numerous, who have been tempted to settle in Canada by the cheapness of the land and the fertility of the soil. The British and Irish emigrants are settled in the towns along the frontier, as merchants, mechanics, &c. on farms they have purchased from older settlers, or back in the woods from thirty to sixty miles, upon lands granted to them by government. They are generally hardy, industrious people, and are warmly attached to the British government, though it is said some of them held radical principles before they left their native country. Government could never do better with disaffected persons than send them to the colonies, where they would have plenty of work and few taxes. In Canada the settlers have too much work in rooting up trees, to trouble themselves with the cares of government. Indeed, the liberality of government has been so great, that all their complaints are removed, and no room left for any feeling but gratitude.


SIR PEREGRINE MAITLAND, the present Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, is a decided friend to religion. Every Sabbath day, whether at home or abroad, he attends public worship twice, if he has it in his power, and always conducts himself in the church with the greatest reverence and propriety. Would to God that all great men would imitate his example. What a reformation of manners among their inferiors would soon follow! In his speech at the opening of the provincial parliament in 1821, among, other excellent expressions he made use of the following: "You will concur in promoting the interest of true religion, and in improving all those means which can add to the instruction, convenience, or happiness of the people." The conduct of his excellent lady is no less praiseworthy. She gives encouragement and support to numerous benevolent institutions. The Sunday schools establish at York have, in particular, engaged her attention, and we are told that she has oftener than once distributed rewards to the deserving with her own hands.

           The Commons House of Assembly in Upper Canada, consists of about forty members, but fifteen form a quorum for the dispatch of business. When the enemy took York in the late war, the journals of the house were burnt, which has been a serious inconvenience. Endeavours are, however, making to obtain copies of them from Earl Bathurst's office.

           Since the late war, there has been erected at York, in Upper Canada, an elegant and commodious building for the House of Assembly, &c. In this building, besides the public offices, there are several apartments, which the sergeant at arms, from his office of keeper of the house, thought he had a right to occupy. The clerk of the house, thinking he had a better right, occupied some of these apartments, and locked up the rest. Next session, namely, in 1821, they laid their respective claims before the House of Assembly. A committee was appointed to inquire into the business, and to make a report. The report was favourable to the Sergeant at Arms, upon which, the House resolved, "that the Sergeant at Arms is, ex officio, housekeeper of the House of Assembly, and all the apartments attached thereto, Clerk's offices excepted; and that the Sergeant at Arms do, within a reasonable time, receive possession of the House, and apartments there unto attached.

           The annual expenses of the civil government, and the administration of justice in Upper Canada, have been, for some years past, something under £20,000. This sum has been raised chiefly from three sources, namely, from licenses and duties on certain goods imported from the United States, one-fifth of the duties collected at Quebec, and £10,000 annually granted by England. The expenses of the naval and military departments are defrayed out of the military chest at the charge of England.

           The licenses are, first, Shop licenses, for the retail of liquors to be used out of the house, £5 each; secondly, Tavern licenses, at all different rates, from £1 to £10, according to the situation of the tavern, the magistrates having a discretionary power to fix them at what they think right; thirdly, Still-licenses, at two shillings and sixpence a-year for every gallon the still contains; fourthly, Wholesale licenses, at £5 each; fifthly, Pedlar's licenses, at £5 each, and £5 more for every horse he uses; and, lastly, Auctioneers' licenses, also at £5 each. The duties upon imported goods are all charged and collected in Quebec, so that in Upper Canada no such animal as an excise-officer is to be met with.

           There are duties charged upon certain goods imported from the United States; but as the frontier extends many hundred miles in length, and the collectors are not numerous, importers sometimes find it inconvenient to call upon them and consequently the intercourse is carried on chiefly by smuggling.

           Breach of privilege is a thing not unknown in Upper Canada more than in England. In February, 1821, Robert C. Horne, Esq. government printer, and editor of the Upper Canada Gazette, was taken into custody, and placed at the bar of the House of Assembly, to answer for a breach of privilege, in making an erroneous report of the speeches of some of the members. Being permitted to speak for himself, he assured the House that he had always studied to be impartial, and that his endeavours had generally been successful, but that on this occasion the speeches had not been taken down by himself, but by another person whom he had employed for this purpose. That he was sorry to find that the words or opinions of any gentleman had been misrepresented, but that he was willing to retrieve the error by a public acknowledgement. This being the case, the House dismissed him with gentle reprimand.

           When the House of Assembly met in 1821, that being the first session after the general election, there were two petitions presented, complaining of undue returns. To give you some idea how such things are done in Canada, I shall lay these petitions before you.

"To the Honourable the Commons House of Assembly, in Parliament Assembled.

"The petition of David Pattie, of the township of Hawkesbury, in the district of Ottawa, Esq.


"That your petitioner, and William Hamilton, Esq. were candidates at the last election of a knight to serve in the present parliament, for the counties of Prescott and Russell and that Joseph Fortune, Esq. was returning officer, who presided at the said election, which was held at the township of Longueil, in the county of Prescott, aforesaid, on Monday, the 10th day of July last, and a poll having been demanded, was continued by adjournments, until Saturday, the 15th of the same month.

"That at the close of the poll on Saturday, the last day of taking the same at the said election, your petitioner had a majority of votes; one hundred and three having polled for your petitioner, and only ninety-nine for the said William Hamilton, as appeared by the poll-book kept by the clerk of the said election; and that the said Joseph Fortune, being, such returning officer, as aforesaid, contrary to his oath of office, as such a returning officer, in gross violation of the rights of the people, and the privileges of your Honourable House, and to the great damage of your petitioner, in a partial and arbitrary manner, immediately after the close of the poll, on the last day of the said election, without instituting any scrutiny into the legality or illegality of any of these votes, received and entered upon the poll-book at the said election, and without assigning any sufficient reason for such his arbitrary and vexatious conduct, did, corruptly and falsely, return the said William Hamilton, and did declare him, the said William Hamilton, to be duly elected, to represent the said counties of Prescott and Russell in this parliament.

"That the said Joseph Fortune was, in other respects, grossly partial to the said William Hamilton, and inimical to the election of our petitioner; and that he exhibited such partiality upon many occasions, during the said election, and, in particular, in representing to the voters at the said election, that your petitioner, being an American, was a bad subject, and unworthy to represent them in parliament, and did also use various other means, highly unbecoming his situation and office aforesaid, to prevent persons from voting for your petitioner, and to induce and influence them to give their votes for the said William Hamilton.

"That several persons offered to vote at the said election, in the right of land they had only obtained tickets of location for, to the legality whereof your petitioner objected, and that many of the said persons hesitated to take the freeholders' oath in respect of the lands so held by them until the said Joseph Fortune told them they had a right to vote, and might safely take the said oath, alleging he had seen a letter from the Hon. William D. Powell, chief justice of this province, to George Hamilton, Esq. brother of the said William Hamilton, stating that such persons had a right to vote at elections in this province.

"And lastly, That the said William Hamilton doth not possess an unencumbered freehold, in lands or tenements, in fee-simple, in this province, to the assessed value of £80, lawful money of this province; whereby he is ineligible to serve in Parliament, and his return is consequently void as your petitioner is advised, and humbly submits to the decision of your Honourable House.

"Wherefore your petitioner humbly prays that the said Joseph Fortune be ordered to attend at the bar of your Honourable House, and to produce the poll books taken at the said election under his authority, and that he be ordered to amend his return of the said to William Hamilton to serve in Parliament as aforesaid, by erasing the name of the said William Hamilton thereout, and inserting that of your petitioner instead thereof, and that your Honourable House will make such further orders as to Your wisdom may seem meet, and to justice appertains.

"And your petitioner, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

 (Signed) DAVID PATTIE."

"Mr. Jones of Grenville, seconded by Mr. Rutman moved that the petition of David Pattie, Esq. complaining, of an undue election, contains matter, which, if true, will make void the election of William Hamilton, Esq.

"Which was carried.

"Mr. Burwell, seconded by Mr. Crooks, moved, That the petition of David Smith, Esq. and others of the township of Durham, be now read.

"Which was carried, and the petition read as follows :-

"To the Honourable the Commons House of Assembly, in Parliament Assembled.

"The petition of John David Smith, of the county of Durham, in the district of Newcastle; Charles Fothergill, of the same place, Esq.; John William Bannister, of the same place, Esq.; John Williams, of the same place, Esq.; John Taylor, of the same place, Esq.; Jeremiah Button, of the same place, Esq.; and others, the undersigned freeholders of the same county;


"That Samuel Street Wilmot, Esq. and George Strange Boulton, Esq. were candidates at the last election of a knight to serve in this present parliament for the said county of Durham; and Thomas Ward was the returning officer who presided at the said election, which was held at Port Hope, in the said county of Durham, on Monday the third day of July last; and a poll having been demanded, was continued by adjournment until Saturday, the eighth day of the same month. That at the close of the poll each day, the said Thomas Ward, being such returning officer as aforesaid, declared the majority in favour of the said George Strange Boulton and that, at the close of the poll on Saturday, the last day of taking the same at the said election, after the votes had been examined by the said Thomas Ward in presence of the said candidates, and several names had been struck off by mutual consent, the said George Strange Boulton had a majority of votes, one hundred and sixty of the names still remaining on the poll-book having polled for the said George Strange Boulton, and only seventy for the said Samuel Street Wilmot, as appeared by the poll-book kept by the clerk at the said election.

"Yet the said Thomas Ward being such returning officer, as aforesaid, contrary to his oath of office as such returning officer, in gross violation of the right of your petitioners, and the freedom of elections, and of the privileges of your Honourable House, in a partial and arbitrary manner, after the close of the poll, on the last day of the election, and without adding up the numbers of the votes taken on the last day of the election, and without assigning any sufficient reason for his arbitrary and vexatious conduct, did corruptly and falsely return the said Samuel Street Wilmot, and did declare the said Samuel Street Wilmot to be duty elected to represent the said county of Durham in this Parliament.

"Wherefore your petitioners humbly pray, that the said Thomas Ward be ordered to attend at the bar of your Honourable House together with his poll-clerk, and to produce the poll-book taken at the said election, under his authority, and that he be ordered to amend his return of the said Samuel Street Wilmot, to serve in Parliament as aforesaid, by erasing the name of the said Samuel Street Wilmot, and inserting that of the said George Strange Boulton instead thereof, and that your Honourable House will make such farther orders as to your wisdom may seem meet, and to justice appertains.

"And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will every pray.

(Signed by) John D. Smith, J. P.

 and eighty-one others."

"Mr. Nichol, seconded by Mr. Burwell, moved, That it be resolved that the petition of David Smith and others contains matter which, it true, will make void the election of Samuel Wilmot, Esq. member for the county of Durham.

"Which was carried.

"The House then resolved, that Mr. Pattie and Mr. Boulton, previous to the investigation of their petitions, should enter into a bond of £200 each to the clerk, conditioned for the payment of such costs as should be awarded by the House against them, should they fail in supporting the ground of their petitions respectively.

"The Speaker was next authorised to order the attendance of the returning officers, with the poll-books, and such witnesses as were required by the petitioners or sitting members. The whole attended, except the returning officer of the counties of Prescott and Russell, whose conduct seems to have been very culpable. He being at a great distance from the seat of government, declined obeying the summons of the House, unless they paid the expenses of his journey. For this contempt of authority the Speaker issued his warrant to the Sergeant at Arms to take him into custody, and produce him at the bar of the House. The distance was about three hundred miles that the officer had to travel before he could carry his orders into execution. So Mr. Fortune, the returning officer, avoided him by crossing the Grand River into the Lower Province, where the Sergeant could not take him. The House was therefore compelled to content themselves with the evidence of the poll-book, the poll-clerk, and such other witnesses as they were able to procure. But they had evidence enough to enable them to determine that the returning officer had acted partially and unfairly, and that the sitting member ought not to have been returned. His seat was consequently declared vacant, and Mr. Pattie after the return was amended, was permitted to take his place."

           The matter, however, did not rest here. Mr. Fortune, the returning officer, being clerk of the peace, and registrar for the county, the House addressed the Governor, requesting his Excellency to remove him from those offices. This was answered by an assurance that the wish of the House should be attended to, and he was soon afterwards removed from office. In the other case the returning officer was directed to amend his return, and the petitioner took his seat.

           The difficulty in these cases arose chiefly from the uncertainty which existed in the minds of many, whether the holders of location tickets have, or have not, the same right to vote at elections, as those who had deeds actually in their possession. A location ticket is a kind of certificate granted to a settler when he gets a grant of land from government, securing a deed to him at the end of three years, if he has then cleared at least five acres, and built a house, &c. Many of the new settlers have still nothing to show for their land except these tickets. Hitherto they have been considered sufficient, but now the House of Assembly have resolved that none are to be permitted to vote, unless they have deeds in their possession.

           During the former provincial parliament, some diversity of opinion existed between the two branches of the legislature; but in 1821, when the new parliament assembled, greater unanimity prevailed. This afforded great pleasure to all but especially to the governor, who, in his speech at the end of the session, amongst others made use of the following expressions:-

           "Having characterised this session of Parliament, the first since the late augmentation in your respective bodies, by great unanimity in the discharge of your important duties, you will, I trust, carry into your several counties a disposition which will lead you to cultivate a spirit of harmony and good will among all classes and descriptions of their inhabitants.

           "Let me recommend that you should also instil into the minds of your fellow-subjects the duty of a ready and conscientious discharge of those local services which the laws require for the general advantage and convenience, and that you should give, by your countenance and support, all the weight in your power to the authorities appointed for the enforcement of obligations so important. In those parts of the provinces with which you are severally connected, you will, I doubt not, render your presence an additional security against the progress of misrepresentation on matters of public concern, of which, in whatever cause it may originate, experience has sufficiently demonstrated the evil tendency. The superior information you naturally possess, of subjects of general importance, and your nearer acquaintance with the views and principles of the government, will at times enable you, by means of Honourable and manly exertion, such as you, I am persuaded, would employ, to expose effectually any delusions which might be otherwise calculated to mislead the judgments of the unwary. You must be sensible that such a just discernment of their real interests, as recently influenced the great mass of this loyal people, must ever be in the highest degree important for the undisturbed enjoyment of your full rights and liberties, and that it must prove the best security for the permanence of that internal tranquillity which is so essential to the diffusive existence of private happiness, and the healthful growth of those advantages which, in their maturity, constitute the greatness and felicity of a country."





           At my father's desire, I add to the foregoing series of letters a few of my own, containing such information as, since I came to this country has it appeared to me would be useful, and which he has not given.

           Although government does not now give the same encouragement to settlers as formerly, yet emigrants from Great Britain or Ireland may still obtain land from government, on condition of performing the settling duties. These consist of building a house, clearing half of the road opposite to their own land, and clearing and cultivating five acres of the land within three years. They then obtain a title-deed on the payment of certain fees, which now amount to about £3, 10s.

           Canada certainly affords great advantages to emigrants. Hardships and difficulties they must and will experience at first, as all new settlers do. But after a few years labour they will come to enjoy an independence, to which the members of an over-crowded and manufacturing population are entire strangers. This is a subject worthy of the attention of the people of Britain; but one great difficulty is, that many who wish to emigrate to Canada are ignorant of the course they ought to pursue. With a view, therefore, of throwing some little light upon this subject, I shall give a few directions with regard to the voyage out, the settlement on lands, and the mode of agriculture at present practised in the province.

           Emigrants coming to Canada, ought to leave Britain in the spring with the first vessels that sail. They ought, if possible, to take a vessel going directly to Canada. Many go by New York or Halifax; but this is a bad plan if they intend to come to Canada, as the conveyance of baggage, by this route, will prove very expensive; much more so than the other way. And they ought always to sail from the western coast of Britain if possible, as sailing from the east coast takes longer time, and besides is much more dangerous. If there is any considerable number of people in the same neighbourhood who intend to emigrate, they ought, if possible, to form themselves into societies, as those settlers did who went out a few years ago under the care of government. By doing so, they will be able to charter a ship for themselves, and provision themselves. In this way, they will obtain their passage for one-half, or perhaps one third what it would cost them, were they to take their passages by single families from masters of ships, and be provisioned by them, as it in these cases seldom costs less than £8 or £10 for grown up people, and half for children. Though they should provision themselves, the ship owners will in general provide water and fuel, as the passengers cannot so conveniently provide these as the other articles. Before going away all their furniture should be disposed of, as the expense of conveying such articles as chairs, tables, and bedsteads up the river, will cost far more than they are worth. They ought to take nothing with them but their clothes, cooking utensils, crockery ware, and a few other necessary articles. They ought to leave behind them everything of a bulky nature, and take nothing but what is absolutely necessary; and all that they do take with them ought to be packed in stout boxes of a convenient size. They ought to be especially well provided with clothing for winter. In summer they need but little, and that little of the slightest materials. Flannel shirts are worn by many of the common people both summer and winter; in the former they dry up the sweat, and in the latter they keep out the cold. The weather is sometimes very severe in winter, and then thick woollen clothing is necessary, with which all going to that country ought to be well provided previously to their leaving home, for there all such articles are very dear. The cotton goods taken out ought to be of a substantial quality, that they may wear well. The most of those sold there are of a flimsy kind. Indeed, the females among the old settlers seldom wear a cotton dress about their household employments, as the wood fires throw out many sparks, which seldom fall on a cotton dress without burning a hole in it, if they do not set it on fire. For these reasons, they often wear woollen dresses of their own manufacturing. In many farm-houses a loom is to be seen, the manufacture of clothing being the principal employment of the females when they can be spared from cooking, and other domestic concerns.

           Emigrants should convert all the money they possess into Spanish dollars, or English guineas or sovereigns. The dollars pass in Canada for five shillings, and sovereigns at £1. 2s. 6d. The guineas are valued according to their weight, and pass at from twenty-two to twenty-four shillings. All other gold and silver coins rise in value much in the same proportion when brought into the province; but these are most common and the most convenient for carriage. This rise in value is allowed by law, in order to encourage the importation of specie into the colony. Copper coins of all descriptions, pence, halfpence, farthings, and pieces of every sort, and belonging to every nation, pass at the value of a halfpenny, and are called by the general name of coppers.

           People who have never been at sea before are generally sea-sick. Various remedies have been prescribed for this disagreeable disorder; but none of them have fully answered the ends for which they were intended. No cure can be proposed for it, except going a long time to sea, and getting so accustomed to a seafaring life that it produces no effect. The best way, however, to prevent it, is to remain as much as possible in the open air.

           After being confined a long time to bad water at sea, most people are apt to drink rather too freely of good fresh water when they get it first. Those who go to Canada, ought to beware of drinking too much of the fresh water of the river St. Lawrence, when they come first up to it, as, from its effects on those who are not accustomed to it, it is able to cause a flux.

           Upper Canada being more favourable for British emigrants than Lower Canada, they mostly all go up there. They ought to proceed upwards with the least possible delay, as the earlier in the season they get upon their land the better. Steamboats sail from Quebec to Montreal almost every day, so that there is no occasion for any long delay at Quebec. The navigation of the river for several miles above Montreal is obstructed by rapids, so that their baggage will have to be conveyed by land a distance of nine miles to La Chine, a village at the head of the rapids. There is a canal cutting round these rapids, which, when finished, will be very beneficial to the country in general. At La Chine, they will get boats to convey them to Prescott or Kingston. The navigation of the St. Lawrence between La Chine and Prescott being obstructed by numerous rapids, it is only fit for small craft, and of these there are two kinds employed on it, batteaux and Durham boats. The batteaux are large, open, flat-bottomed boats, navigated by French Canadians, generally five or six to each. The Durham boats are a sort of small sloop, navigated by Americans. The batteaux are by for the safest conveyances. The voyage from La Chine to Kingston, a distance of two hundred miles, takes in general about seven or eight days.

           There is still a great deal of land along the St. Lawrence to give away; but it is a considerable way back from the river. There is a land Board in every district, to whom all applications for land are made. They meet only once a month, but their secretary can at all times give any information that is wanted. In every settlement formed under the immediate care of government, there is a land office, and some person is appointed to superintend the affairs of the settlement, to whom all applications are made, and who is constantly in attendance.

           To whatever part of the province settlers intend to go, they should push forward as quick as possible, as those who come last have always the disadvantage of going farthest back in the woods. Those, however, who purchase or rent lands in the improved parts of the country, succeed far better than those who at first plunge into the forest, and engage in employments, the nature of which they do not understand. The manner of renting a farm in this country is generally this: The landlord, besides the land and houses, finds cows, horses, farming utensils, and perhaps seed for the first year; the tenant does all the labour, and the produce of the farm is divided between them in such proportion as shall have been agreed upon, generally equally. This is a good plan for emigrants, at first, as even though they should afterwards go into the woods, and take land of their own, they will then have some knowledge of the mode of agriculture practised in the country, and will have some stock to begin with on their own farms.

           Emigrants ought at first if possible, to purchase or rent land on which some improvement has been made. Few, indeed are able to purchase; for most of the settlers that go out there are at first poor: but, if they have any ready money at all, a farm may now he obtained at a very low rate, even lower than the improvement cost. Farms containing 100 acres may be bought at from 50 to 400 dollars, according to their situation and goodness. But they should be cautious about buying land upon a location ticket, that is, without a deed. As government will not recognise these sales, new comers are very apt to be deceived by appearances. The cheapness of land is a temptation to the purchase, which they cannot resist; and they very often lay out their money to very little purpose. They ought not to buy more land than they need for the present; for land will not rise in value as long as grants from the crown can be so easily obtained.

           That you may, however, have some idea of the formation of a new settlement, I shall give you a sketch of the beginning of the Perth settlement. The first emigrants who went to this settlement went out from Scotland in 1815, under the care of Government. When they got to Brockville, they were lodged in the barracks there, till it could be determined where they were to be settled. Most of them wished to proceed as far as Lake Erie; but the agents of government recommended lands, which were soon to be surveyed, about forty-five miles to the northwest of Brockville. As the season was now, however, too far advanced to proceed to the land before winter, it was resolved that they should remain in the barracks till the spring. In the meantime, several new townships were surveyed, and other preparations for their settlement were made. During the winter, the more industrious part of them dispersed themselves through the country, and obtained employment, some from the farmers and others from mechanics.

           Early in the spring of the next year (1816) a party of the men, along with some surveyors, and under the direction of a Captain McEvar, went to mark out and cut a road to the land on which they were to settle. The new townships which had been surveyed were Bathurst, Drummond, and part of Beckwith. The country, for about one half of its distance, was settled and partly cleared. But the other half of their way lay through the forest, where there was not the least trace of a road, and where no people of any civilised nation had ever lived. As they had some sledges with provisions along with them, which could not be brought through the woods, they were obliged to find their way in the best manner they could along the rivers and lakes which lay in that direction, upon the ice. They reached the place where the town of Perth now stands, on the afternoon of the 22nd of March. The snow was then between two and three feet deep, and the weather very cold. Here, in the midst of an immense forest, and many miles from any human habitations, they were obliged to sleep in the open air. They made themselves beds on the snow, of the small twigs and branches of the hemlock trees, and, buried in these, with large fires on each side of them, they passed their first night's residence in Perth settlement.

           As soon as possible, they built some huts to hold the stores, and then proceeded to mark out and clear the road though the woods to the front, which occupied them the greater part of a month. During this time they experienced great hardships, having to sleep in the cold open air without any covering after working hard all day, often up to the knees in water. One man was taken very ill from fatigue and cold. His companions set out to carry him to his family at Brockville, but he died by the way.

           When they had got the road through, they brought in their families, received their land, and built huts for themselves. It was now rather late for them to think of getting much crop in, but however the most of them cleared a small piece, and planted some potatoes.

           The most of these people were settled together along both sides of the line between Burgess and Bathurst; and from the circumstance of so many Scotch people being settled together, that line was called the Scotch Settlement. The land they got was in general good, but very level. The two new townships are watered on the front by the Tay, and several other smaller streams, and, on the back, by the Mississippi, which is a very considerable river.

           A piece of land containing 400 acres, in the south corner of Drummond, was set apart for the town, and divided into small lots. Men who had been hired from the front settlements, built a Government storehouse, and an office for the superintendent of the settlement and his clerks. Merchants now began to come in and settle in the town. Articles of every description were excessively dear, partly from the great expense attendant on the transportation of goods from the front, and partly from a circumstance which takes place in almost every new settlement, namely, the advantage which is taken of the necessities of the settlers. Flour was twenty-two dollars a barrel, wheat four dollars a bushel, and potatoes two; the four pound loaf half a dollar, and other things in proportion. It is true they had the government allowance of provisions, but yet they had a number of other necessary articles to buy.

           The little crop the settlers had put in, in a great measure failed, on account of the smallness of their clearings, being all shaded by the surrounding woods, so that they yet received little benefit from it.

           During the summer and in the autumn, great numbers of emigrants and about 1200 soldiers, came to the settlement and received land. In 1817, several new townships were added to the Perth settlement, and they were soon filled up by emigrants who were continually thronging in. In 1818, a settling establishment was begun at Richmond, and in 1820 another at Lanark, and the population has now increased to upwards of 8000.

           This settlement, in case of another war with the United States, will be a place of the utmost security; and should that event happen, it will be a place of great importance. It will not only be the route by which the government and merchant stores will be conveyed to the upper part of the province, but it will be the resort of all who are not actively in the war, and the depôt of all the valuable movable property of those on frontier. There was a vast destruction of property all along the front during the last war; but this is a hardship from which the inhabitants of these settlements will be exempt. From its situation, and other advantages which this place possesses, it will be almost impossible to take it, and it would likely be the last place in the province that would yield. Before an enemy could take it, he would have to defeat the whole force on the banks of the St. Lawrence, come through a large extent of forest, and cross a large lake, which he could not avoid, as it extends up and down the country a distance of upwards of thirty miles, and at the narrow passes of which forts will most likely be built; and then, the country has four regiments of militiamen to defend it, a good many of whom have been actively engaged in a military life before.

           There is now no land worth settling upon to give away, within the bounds of this settlement; but there is a range of new townships, lying beginning the Lanark settlement, which are now giving away; and when these are all filled up others will be surveyed. This will be a very good situation as it lies upon the Grand River and will have a very easy water communication with Montreal. By and by, however, when the Perth settlers have received their deeds, there will most likely be a number of farms offered for sale; and emigrants who have a little ready money, that would find it more to their advantage to purchase these, if in good situations, than to go so far back into the woods. The land in the Perth settlement is well fitted for agriculture; hills are to be met with, but they are neither numerous nor high.

           All the country hereabouts has evidently been once inhabited by Indians, and for a vast number of years too. The remains of fires, with the bones and horns of deer lying round them, have often been found several inches under the black mould, formed on the surface of the soil by the decayed leaves which fall from the trees every autumn. A large pot made of burnt clay, and highly ornamented, was lately found near the banks of the Mississippi, under a large maple tree, probably two or three hundred years old. Stone axes have been found in different parts of the settlement. Skeletons of Indians have been several times found, where they had died suddenly or had been killed by accident in the woods. One was found in a reclining posture, with its back against a hillock, and a rough made stone tobacco pipe lying beside it.

           Although it is only a few years since this settlement was begun, it is astonishing to see what improvements have taken place. The woods are beginning to disappear, and luxuriant crops are seen instead of them. Good roads are making in various directions. All the settlers have good and comfortable, and many of them handsome houses of their own; and the county already contains three flourishing towns.

           In short, if this settlement improves as fast for few years to come, as it has in those that are past, it will form one of the most important parts of the Upper Province.



A GREAT MANY settlers prefer going pretty far up the country, as the farther up they go the climate is milder. Numerous new settlements have been formed, and are now forming, on the banks of Lake Erie, more than five hundred miles from Montreal. Those emigrants who wish to go so far up the country will get steamboats at Prescott or Kingston, to take them up to York. Here there is a land-office, at which applications relative to the land in all the surrounding country have to be made. At this office emigrants get tickets with the numbers of several lots, which they are to look at and take the one they like best; and the families should be left at some convenient place till this is done.

           In choosing a good lot of land, the emigrant ought first to look to the quality of the land, and see that it is dry, and the soil rich. The quality of land can always be known by the kind of timber that grows upon it. The best is covered with proportion of baswood (a tree pretty much the same as the lime tree in this country.) The land covered with pine and hemlock is in general a barren sand; and where there is a deal of red elm, it is always rocky. The dry land only is cultivated at first; but if once the settlers had time to cut drains through the swamps and let off the water, they will, in general, be the best land. Many of them, which would otherwise be dry enough, are formed by the water from the higher ground being prevented from making its escape, by fallen timber and hillocks of earth. Those of them covered with cedar are sandy; where ash grows they are clayey; and those covered with timerick are a soft black soil. Always the more fertile the land is, the larger the timber upon on it is.

           The other things which constitute a good lot are, that there is a possibility of getting a good road into it - that it is near neighbours - that it has either a running stream, or a spring of water in it - and that it is near a navigable river, near a town, near a mill, &c.

           A new comer, when looking for land, ought always to get some person who is acquainted with the country to go along with him; and he should likewise take a pocket-compass with him. The roads and the boundaries of the lots are marked but by blazes, ie. a chip taken off each side of the trees all along the line; and by not paying sufficient attention to these, it often happens that a new comer will lose his way in the woods. When this happens, he will no doubt be much alarmed, but he ought to keep his mind as calm and composed as possible, and avoid hurrying himself; but if he does this and gives way to fear and perplexity, he will bring on a state of mind little short of insensibility. In the summer there be little danger of starving though a person should be lost for a short time, as there are a great many kinds of roots and berries in the woods, which will sustain life for a few days. By recollecting in what direction the inhabited country is from him, a person who is lost in the woods may steer his course out with a pocket compass, or if he has none by the appearance of the trees. Large trees have always moss on the north sides of them, and their largest limbs are generally to the south side. The longest branches of birch trees, by which Indians are said to steer their course through the woods, point eastward. If he cannot find his way in this manner, there are several other methods which he may try. If he happens to find a stream of water, or a blaze, by following it he may be led out into the settled country, or, perhaps, to some place which he has seen before, and from which he may find his way. Or should he find any cattle in the woods, by chasing them they will run homewards; and then, if he follows them, he may be extricated from his unpleasant situation. However, if once a person has been settled in one place for a considerable time, and has made observations respecting the situation of his lot, and the direction in which the sun rises and sets from his shanty, there will be little danger of him losing his way, even though he does venture a considerable way into the woods.

           Having pitched upon a lot to please him, the emigrant must return to the land-office, to get what is called a location ticket. This contains the number of the lot, empowers him to take possession of it, and tells what are the conditions on which it is to be his. If he finds a lot in a place in some degree settled, there will likely be a road cleared; but if not, all those who settle to in the same place, will join together and clear one. All that is done to the roads, in the first instance, is to clear away the brush wood, and perhaps throw down a tree, to walk on, across a wet place.

           He may take his family to his land, either then, or wait till he has got a house built. Should he take them in the first instance, he can erect a wigwam in a few hours, with poles, brush, and bark, in which they may reside for a short time, till a better habitation is got ready. Having selected a proper situation, he must, first of all, proceed to erect a dwelling-house. He will cut a number of straight logs, at the length required, and when he has cut a sufficient number, he will get them drawn to the spot with oxen, or be assisted by his neighbours to carry them in. He will next raise what is called a bee, that is, a collection of his neighbours, to assist him in raising his house. Whenever a person needs help, he gets all his neighbours to assist him, and repays the favour by giving them his assistance when they need it. The house is built by laying the logs across one another at the corners, and notching them about half through, so that they are let down close to each other and hold one another firm in their places. The next step is to get a roof put upon it, and this is done in the following manner. Baswood logs are cut as long as the house is broad; these are split in two, and hollowed out in the middle, and laid close, side by side, with the hollow sides uppermost, across the house, the front of which is made rather higher than the back. Others with the round side uppermost are laid upon these, so as to cover the seams between them, and thus not only a strong, but a completely water-tight roof is formed. A hole is next cut through the logs for a door, and a door hung in it; windows are seldom or never thought of at first in the woods. Some stones are built up against one of the walls to burn the fire against, and to keep it off the logs, and a chimney to carry off the smoke, is made of boards or wicker work and plastered over with clay. The fires in this country are all burnt on the hearth at least on iron or stones only so far raised off it as to admit the air below the wood. A floor of split planks is then laid, the interstices of the logs in the wall are filled with moss or clay, and thus is completed what is called by new settlers a shanty. There ought not to be much labour spent on these, more than merely to make them comfortable, as after a few acres have been cleared, some more eligible situation for building may be discovered and then, too, there will be more leisure for attending to the building of a good house. As soon as the emigrant has got a place to live in, he must begin to clear land for crop; and the first he clears should be round the house, so that there may be no danger of any trees being blown down upon it. The clearing of land is done in the following manner: In the first place, the underbrush, and all the small trees, less than four or five inches thick, are cut close by the ground, cut into pieces, and thrown into heaps. There is always a great quantity of timber lying on the ground, which has been blown down by the wind, and which must be cut up. The next step is to cut down the large trees, which is done by making a cut half through the tree, about three feet from the ground on the side to which it leans, and then cutting it on the other side till it falls. It should be so cut as to fall clear through between the other trees, for if it should lodge upon another, it will be dangerous cutting that one down for fear of the other one falling. People who are very careless often get themselves hurt, and some are even killed this way. As soon as a tree is cut down, it is cut into logs twelve feet long, and its branches are thrown into heaps. In this manner, the whole of the piece intended to be cleared is gone over, and not a tree must be left. Some have recommended cutting only the under brush and girding the large trees, that is, cutting a notch all round them so that they die, as the best way for new settlers to do; as the way that they will get most crop in, and which will cost them least labour. But this is a very bad plan, because the trees in this country, from being so closely crowded together, grow to an immense height, and, of course, when they are left exposed to the wind, and are notched in a piece at the root, they are apt to be blown down, and, besides spoiling the crop, they may, in their fall, kill cattle, or perhaps people themselves. The crop is much inferior, both in quantity and quality, to that raised in an open clearing; and then, after all, the trees will have to be cut some time or other. Those of the logs that are most easily split, generally baswood, are split into rails and drawn off. The remainder of the wood, when sufficiently dry, is set fire to. All the brush and small stuff is clean burnt off, and the large logs are then rolled together, or drawn together with oxen, and pushed up in heaps and burnt. The decayed leaves, and the remaining rubbish is raked into heaps and clean burnt off. A fence between five and six feet high is put up about the field, and it is then ready for crop.

           A good workman will cut down and prepare for burning the timber upon an acre in a week but most new settlers, when they first come, take a month. Taking men as we generally find them, a fortnight is a fair average. When the timber is all chopped upon new land, the work of clearing is considered half done. The putting of the logs in heaps, burning them off, and making the land ready for the seed, takes as much labour as the chopping, and is a very dirty employment. The fencing takes about one half the labour of any of the other parts. The chopping. burning, and fencing, of an acre, is now done for from twelve to sixteen dollars, and about six years ago it cost upwards of twenty.

           The ashes of the burnt wood are carefully preserved and sold to the potash manufacturers, and they in general fetch sixpence a bushel. Sometimes when the land has been covered with heavy timber, and all hardwood, there is such a quantity of ashes that it will almost pay for the clearing of the land. The settlers generally make their own soap; and it is done in the following manner: A barrel with a small hole in the bottom of it, is fixed up about two feet from the ground, and filled nearly full of ashes. Water is then repeatedly poured into it, and this dissolving the alkali contained in the ashes, and holding it in solution, runs through the hole in the bottom, and is caught in a tub. The ley of a barrel of ashes, boiled along with ten pounds of tallow, till it is of a proper consistence, produces about forty pounds of very good soft soap.

           There is a vast quantity of potash annually made in Canada, and, as an account of the manner in which it is manufactured may perhaps be entertaining to you, I shall describe the process. The alkali is extracted from the ashes in the manner, already described, but on a much larger scale. A number of large vessels, called leeches, into which the ashes are put, are ranged upon a sort of a platform of boards, the ends of which slope downwards into a large trough which receives the ley. The manufactories are always built upon some running stream, and the water is raised by a pump, and distributed among the leeches by wooden gutters. The ley is boiled in large boilers, till the watery parts are all evaporated. It is in this state, called black salts. It is then heated to a high degree, till it is completely fused. All the impurities contained in the potash are consumed, and, upon cooling, it becomes perfectly white. It is then fit for the market. 



THOSE WHO BEGIN to clear early in the summer, and are any way industrious, may easily have two or three acres ready for fall wheat, which is sown about the end of September or the beginning of October. The seed is steeped a short time in ley, and then rolled in lime or ashes. It is then sown at the rate of one bushel and a quarter to an acre, and is harrowed in with a triangular drag, or where oxen or horses cannot be had in new settlements, it is hoed in; new land needs no other preparation. After this, till spring commences, they should employ the most of their time in chopping land for spring crop. It can be burnt off in spring soon enough for planting. Except during a few very cold days, chopping wood is a comfortable employment in winter as the weather is always dry in that season.

           A piece of new land, when ready for crop, is very different, both in its nature and appearance from the land in Britain. The first thing that strikes a person who looks over a new cleared field is the appearance and the number of the stumps. As it would cost too much labour and time to take out the trees by the roots at first when they are fresh, they are cut off about three feet from the ground, and the stumps are left standing till they rot. Hardwood stumps become so rotten in the course of seven or eight years, that they can easily be taken out, but the stumps of pines, hemlock, and all the other species of fir, stand quite fresh for thirty or forty years. The next thing that strikes the attention is the unevenness of the surface. There are, of course, natural inequalities in the surface, but the principal cause of it is the rooting up of trees by the wind, and which tear up a large hump of earth with them. Some of these trees have fallen such a long time ago, that they are entirely rotten away, not a vestige of them is to be seen, and nothing remains but a hillock of earth, and a hole by the side of it. The soil, of whatever kind it is, is covered with a stratum of rich black mould, four or five inches thick, composed of the decayed leaves and other parts of vegetables. This forms an excellent manure for the land, which needs no other for several years. From the number of roots which the ground contains, the distance they run in the ground, and their immensely numerous ramifications, the surface of the ground is completely matted like a turf; but after it has been once cultivated, it is entirely loosened. Rough as the ground at first seems, new settler are very glad to get it that length.

           In the end of March and beginning of April the sap of the maple trees is in circulation, and all hands are employed in making sugar. Some who have provided troughs enough to collect the sap, make from 100 to 500 pounds weight. In cold or rainy weather, the trees do not run their sap freely; but, when there is a sharp frost in the night, and a warm sun during the day, the operation succeeds well.

           The first thing is to make troughs, which are generally made of black ash, a sort of wood very soft, and easily worked, and of quite a different nature from the ash in Britain. A tree about a foot thick is cut into lengths of three feet. These pieces are split through the middle and the halves hollowed out with an adze, and the ends left about two inches, and the sides and bottom half an inch. A place containing a large proportion of maple trees, commonly called, a sugar bush, is then selected, and the trees are tapped. A hole, an inch and a half or two inches wide, is bored in the south side of the tree. Below this a little way a cut is made with a large gouge, and a spout of the same size and shape put into it; and a trough is then put under it to receive the sap. Some people have as many as two hundred trees running at once, and every tree will yield from two to three pounds of sugar in a season. It requires, in general, about six gallons of sap to make a pound of sugar. Some idea of the strength of the sap may be had from this circumstance that the sap in its natural state is just of a proper sweetness for making tea; but the oftener a tree is run, its sap grows the sweeter. Although the season for making sugar lasts little more than a month, there are often not more than half a dozen days very favourable to making it. A proper place having been selected in the centre of the sugar bush for boiling the sap, a shed is erected to serve as a shelter for those who attend it; a large fire is made, and the sugar kettles hung up: of these there ought always at least to be two; one to boil the sap into molasses, and into which the raw sap is to be put; the other to boil the molasses into sugar. When it is almost well enough boiled, a little milk is put into it, which throws up all the impurities contained in it, so that they can be skimmed off. When it is well enough boiled, (which is known by a little taken on the point of a knife growing hard when dipt in water,) it is poured into moulds, if intended to be kept in cakes; and if it is wished soft, it is stirred till cold, or poured into some vessel with small holes in the bottom of it, when the moist parts of it drain off in molasses, and leave the sugar dry and in a soft state. The trees run little or none during the night, but as the sap cannot be boiled up so quick during the day as it runs, those who are attending to it must boil both night and day; and every sugar-bush must have a reservoir to collect the sap into: this is a large log hollowed out, so that it will contain several hundred gallons. If care is taken in boiling the sugar not to burn it, it can be made in equal whiteness to thy West Indian sugar. It has rather a different taste; but it probably derives its peculiar taste from the sort of wood of which the troughs are made. It can be obtained during the season of making it, at fourpence a pound.

           Good vinegar is also made with maple sap. It is boiled into about one sixth; some yeast is put into it to begin fermentation; it is exposed in a stout cask to the heat of the sun during summer, and by spring it is fit for use.

           The end of the month of May, and part of June, is the usual seed time. Potatoes, Indian corn, wheat, rye, beans, pease, turnips, pumpkins, melons and cucumbers, are among the productions first reared upon new land. Many of those who settle there are at first poor families, but experience teaches them sometimes to their cost. The soil of Canada is as good as any of North America, and is capable of producing not only the necessaries of life, but many of its luxuries; but the fertility of the soil call do little without skill to manage it properly. Settlers ought always to make a garden, as its productions will greatly add to their comfort. Few kinds of garden stuffs will succeed the first year, as the ground is not sufficiently cultivated. Melons and cucumbers, however, will, and do come as a great perfection in this country as in any other part of the world. They are very refreshing during the great heats in summer, and ought to be attended to by all new settlers. The hoe is almost the only implement of husbandry employed on new land; the ground is so full of roots, that neither a spade nor plough could do anything in it.

           Spring wheat and rye ought to be among the first things sown. Rye is sown upon poor land that will not bear wheat. They are reaped in the end of July or the beginning of August; three months being in general, sufficient time for bringing a crop of spring grain to maturity; and it is then secured in barns, this being the custom of the country.

           Indian corn is planted in the last half of May. Drills are made about three or four feet separate, and the grains are dropped into these, about a foot from each other. When it is about a foot high, it is weeded and hoed; the suckers which grow out from the roots of the stalks are pulled. As soon as it begins to ripen, the tops are cut off the stalks that the ears of the corn may be more exposed to the sun, and ripen more quickly. When ripe, which is known by the husks that surround the ears turning quite dry, and of a yellow colour, the ears are pulled, the husks are taken off them, and they are either spread upon a floor, or tied in bunches and hung up to dry; after which the corn is rubbed off. The stalks are afterwards cut and secured.

           The Indian corn being thinly planted in order admit air, pumpkins are planted here and there amongst it. These spread themselves all over the ground under the corn, and thus two crops are raised at the same time. The pumpkins are a very useful article in domestic cookery; and in feeding cattle they far surpass turnips. An acre cultivated in this manner will produce from thirty to forty bushels of corn, about a thousand pumpkins, averaging each from twelve to forty or fifty pounds weight, and the stalks, which will be about a ton of excellent fodder.

           Potatoes are cultivated much in the same manner as Indian corn. A few are planted for early use as soon as possible in the spring, but, for a general crop,they are not planted till near the end of June. Those planted at this time will far surpass in size, quantity and quality, those planted two months earlier. They are generally covered so deep when planted, that they need nothing else done to them till they are taken up in October.

           The Americans have another way of planting potatoes and Indian corn, in what they call hills. Four or five sets of potatoes, or grains of corn, are laid down together, and a hillock of earth is made over them about four inches deep and eighteen broad; and these are made about four feet from each other. They plead that this mode is more suited to the climate than the other. I have, however, for the sake of experiment, tried the two ways together, and have found that there is little or no difference, and if any, it is in favour of the drill husbandry. This method certainly has the advantage of the other, when ploughs are used.

           Turnips are sown about the middle of July; and when it is a favourable season for them, they generally turn out well; but as they are sometimes rather a precarious crop, their place is much better supplied by pumpkins.

           The frost is so intense in winter, that turnips, potatoes, pumpkins, and all kinds of crop that would be injured by it, have to be kept in cellars and root houses under ground.

           Beans and pease succeed very well, but especially when cultivated in drills, and put pretty deep into the soil. French beans are more generally cultivated, and succeed better, than any other kind.

           I shall not, however, enlarge upon the manner of cultivating every particular article, as it will be uninteresting to those who have no intention of visiting that country, and to those who do go thither, a single day spent where the various kinds of work are going forward will be of more value than a whole volume of written instructions.

           As the land is not at first fit for the plough, on account of the roots of the trees, it is, in general, after one or two crops have been taken off it, laid down with grass, and new land is every year cleared for crop, till once there is as much cleared as is intended to be farmed. This affords an opportunity for rearing a large stock of cattle. A farmer may keep as many cattle as he can feed through the winter, for they cost him nothing in summer; they run in the woods, and feed on tender shoots of the young trees, all unenclosed lands being common. On this kind of feeding, the cows do not give so much milk as those in Britain, but it is of a better quality, and yields a great deal more butter. Cattle must have provender provided for them nearly one half of the year; but as settlers have but few at first, they may easily provide for them. In the woods there are numerous meadows, containing from three or four to fifty acres of land, covered with wild grass. On these new settlers can make as much hay in a few days, as their cattle will need through winter. These meadows are occasioned by the beavers, whose dams, on small rivers, cause the water to overflow the low lands in the spring, and prevent the growth of trees; and from this circumstance they are called beaver meadows. Besides this wild hay, the cattle feed a good deal during the winter, on small twigs of the trees that are cut down, and of which they are very fond. They ought now and then to get a little salt, or else they will not thrive; and being accustomed to getting it, they become excessively fond of it. And they ought to have sheds erected for them to lie in during the winter, and so placed as to shelter them from the north-west wind, which in that country is the coldest.

           When fifty or sixty acres have been cleared upon a lot, the rest may be left for a sugar bush, for fire-wood, &c. By this time, the piece of land that was first cleared will be fit for the plough. The smaller stumps and the extended roots of the larger ones will now be very easily taken out, so that the plough, in the hands of one who is a little accustomed with this kind of work, will meet with but little obstruction. The plough at first used among the stumps is a kind called the hog plough. It is a very stout clumsy sort of implement, has no coulter, and is calculated for not going very deep.

           The grass used in this country is a species called Timothy or fox-tail grass, a sort better adapted to the climate than any other. The rye-grass commonly used in Britain has not sufficient roots to draw up nourishment for itself during the hot season, and in consequence of this it is quite withered up. The Timothy, however, having tremendous roots, succeeds well in a hot climate.

           If a person be any way industrious, he may raise as much provision the first year as to support his family, and have some over for sale; and the next year he may be able to sell a large quantity. There is always a little market for farming produce among newly come settlers, and some few who do not farm at all, so that money or other necessaries can be got in exchange for the surplus. In a few years he will have a number of sheep, the wool of which the female part of the family can manufacture into clothing.

           The Americans and the Canadians, who have been a considerable time upon their land, make all their own clothing, from the wool of their sheep, and from flax and hemp, which there grow very well. They depend little or none at all upon the markets, making almost every article they use themselves, and in this our settlers must imitate them if they intend to succeed.

           Emigrants generally form too high expectations of the country before they see it, because they are too apt to compare it with their own. The consequence is, when they see bad roads and bridges, miserable huts, and the hard labour in a new settlement, most of them become discontented and discouraged, and wish they had remained at home. But the first appearance of it is the worst; they soon become reconciled to their new situation, which every year improves in comfort, and they lay aside all thoughts of returning to their native country. Many of our settlers labour hard at their first settlement; but the prospect of freedom and independence adds oil to the wheels of exertion. The climate, generally speaking, agrees well with British constitutions, and many of the inhabitants live to a great age. Cases of fever and ague sometimes occur but they are, in most instances, among those who obstinately persist in using stagnant water during the hot season of the year. Those who take the trouble of digging a well, which in general may be easily done, obtain excellent water, which may be safely used, if not taken in too great quantities when a person is overheated. If settlers be contented, and get through their difficulties the first two or three years, there is little fear of them afterwards, for by this time they are acquainted with their new mode of living and working. They are getting into a stock of property of different kinds, which is always increasing; and their attachment to the land, which has been the scene of their labours, becomes every year stronger.

           The winters in Canada are very severe, though not nearly so much so in the Upper as in the Lower province, the spring opening at least six weeks earlier in the former; but, from the constancy and serenity of the weather, they are upon the whole very pleasant. At first, while clearing land, this is the most suitable time for chopping the wood. A man at exercise of this sort, can keep himself very comfortable even in very cold weather. Afterwards, however, when the settlers have got their farms cleared, they are not so busy, having little to do besides cutting firewood, and taking care of their cattle.

           Thus, in a few years, when settlers have got a good part of their farms cleared and brought under cultivation, they may live in a sort of independent state. Having no rents to pay, they may with ease, if they are industrious, raise enough for their support. Money to be sure is not very plentiful; but, as they do not live upon it, this is of no great moment when they have every thing else they need. All the necessaries of life, and many of its luxuries can be raised there; and, if people were contented, they live as comfortably in that country as in any other on the surface of the globe.


Printed by A. Balfour & Co.
Transcribed by Rupert Speyer
(g-g-g-grandson of the author)

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