Montreal Gazette, 5 August 1869, page 3
Emigration and Emigrants
The Canadian people seem to have awakened to the fact that they are the owners of a great and rich territory, as also that its wealth must be developed, which can only be effected by the hand of labor. The forest must be utilized; the mine developed; the morass redeemed from the waters; the streams must be crossed by bridges; the lakes and rivers made navigable; and the highways formed connecting the centres of civilization with remote wilderness. Able writers are busy showing the fertility of the soil, the salubrity of the climate, the necessity of having highways stretching across from the Atlantic to the Pacific. According to the statements of some, the wealth of Canada is fabulous, if so, so much the better. Yet would it not be well to turn our attention to the best and cheapest means of utilizing the resources most easily attainable; of populating the country with the class of emigrants whose services are most needed, and consequently would be most valuable and remunerative to the country. This cannot be done by advocating the building of railways at enormous expense. If the world find out that Canadian territory must be crossed or traversed by the Western highway, rest assured that the world will attend to it in the fullness of the time, and not a day sooner, let Canada clamour ever so loudly for it. The enterprise that saw fit to build the Victoria Bridge, will also build the “Great Western Highway” as soon as its necessity and value is apparent. In the meantime, do not let us fritter away precious moments in foolish visions of a great future which can only be inaugurated by the construction of a great railway. Let us push forward highways through those sections of country best adapted for cultivation, whether it be the valley of the Red River or Lacaurveau, the first range of the Chiltern, or the foremost of the Chertsey. And now a word about emigration. Who should emigrate and who should not?
The people who should emigrate are the small farmers, especially of Wales and Scotland; next strong, healthy, unmarried farm labourers, male and female. The best means, and that which will be most satisfactory and successful, is for some responsible person, — say the minister of the parish or a young, enterprising doctor, farmer or tradesman, — to organize during the winter months a club or society of those intending to emigrate and furnish themselves with the best and most reliable public information respecting that part of the continent to which they intend to emigrate.
No occupation would be more pleasurable, more especially in the future, than that of some worthy individual, possessed of the requisite capabilities, taking upon himself the leadership of bands of emigrants. Pleasurable, I said, but I may say more, since I am certain that it would, if such men, accompanied their clan, be a means of great pecuniary advantage to themselves and their community. I speak from experience, and very strongly advise the adoption of such a method, and if the society is large enough, the tailor and shoemaker, the tanner and the miller may come out with them, not forgetting the minister, the doctor and the “village blacksmith.”
I know districts in Wales and Scotland so sparsely settled that it would be impossible to get more than seven or eight members over a considerable area; in that case they should employ some responsible person in the nearest town to receive the names of such parties, being respectable, that is, of good character, as may be desirous of joining the expedition proposing to start for such a place, on such a day, one and altogether as a company of colonists acting for themselves co-operatively. In another letter, I intend to show the advantages of this plan. Commencing their club about November, or perhaps a month or so earlier, those who had already the necessary funds, and those who had not the funds, may be assisted by Colonization Society if the community to which the person is attached is sufficiently satisfied of his integrity and worth as to be answerable for the repayment of the loan. However, as I stated before, they would all be prepared to leave for the country of their adoption in the following spring, arriving here time enough to commence farming operations upon cleared land, and for uncleared land in time for the bark peeling season—the extract of bark factories and tanneries keeping up an active demand for bark of all descriptions.
Having now noticed the people who can decidedly improve their conditions by coming out here, and also keeping their children around them, to their mutual advantage and pleasure, I will mention those who should not emigrate only under certain circumstances. First highly skilled mechanics should not come here so long as they can obtain work in Europe. Neither professional men or clerks, unless they have an appointment or have determined upon following pursuits requiring physical capability alone. Governesses or needlewomen are not wanted here, unless of good sound health and willingly determined to help by manual labor if necessary.