« ForrigeFortsett »
the English operative or tradesman intending to migrate, and who proposes to abandon the comforts, if any he possesses,-the means, that with honest industry and perseverance, are still within his reach in the old country, for the more tempting, though often the mere imaginary acquisition of independence, or increased gain in the United States, and which is incessantly held before him by designing and interested parties, as of easy and certain procurement, we should certainly counsel him to pause— to stay in his career, and again consider the probable consequences of any hasty and ill-digested measure of this kind, which, if once resolved upon, and carried out in all its varied and consecutive details, may bring with it a train of evils for which he is the least prepared, and expose him to difficulties, far greater in their consequences-more disastrous in their results, being far more difficult to overcome, than any from which he may possibly have escaped. Whatever may be his capabilities, his means of profitable acquisition, the dependence and extreme friendlessness of his situation as a stranger, whether amidst the crowded streets of the large Atlantic cities, or the more unpretending and quiet districts of the interior states, is sufficient to appal his energies, at least to restrict the ardour of his enterprise, and oppress him with those "compunctious visitings" which it were easier and more natural to encourage under such circumstances, than to get rid of.
Many, no doubt there are, who lured by the plausible, though frequently distorted statements of
those of their friends who have preceded them, have hearkened to their counsel, and committed their fortunes to the doubtful certainty of the prospects held forth to them being ever realised, to repent them of their error, when perhaps, it were too late to arrest the consequence of their precipitancy. These kind friends point out in most minute detail, the plenty-the superabundance with which they are everywhere surrounded; without stating the wearisome and never ending effort that is necessary for its attainment, the other and unequal sacrifices that they are compelled to make, to secure any of the most trifling advantages so earnestly insisted on in their communications ;-the many years of cold neglect, frequently of sorrow and disappointment, for the one of sunshine that they can ever meet with, with the almost certain and early inroads that climate is sure to make upon the European constitution, unsuited as it most certainly is, to its varied and extreme changes, for which no advantage, however extended-no benefits, however easily secured, can at all compensate. Could the kind and indulgent friends, who so inconsiderately enter on these statements, be induced to throw aside this unreasonable hyperbole, and speak of the country in the promptings of a more reasonable and correct judgment, describe it merely as they find it, and not such as they might wish it to be, we are quite satisfied, that the film which has dimmed the perception of many an enthusiast, and represented emigration to the United States as the panacea for every ill and
untoward difficulty in the old country, would very soon be removed, and a fitter and more wholesome estimate of its advantages supervene instead. But, these people, in their exaggerated belief of American prosperity and wealth-its ready application to themselves, their wants and wishes, having irrevocably turned their back upon their own country, and disconnected themselves from its welfare, generally find out, when they come to taste of this new state of being, in which their inherent restlessnesstheir folly, rather than their good sense, had placed them, how very short it falls in the reality of their previous estimate, and the uncertain and tottering foundation on which all their former high wrought anticipations as regards it, have been based.
This comparative seclusion from the world, from all intimate friendly intercourse with those around us, might, perhaps, be in some way bearable if selfimposed, or of our own seeking; but is somewhat more difficult to be reconciled to, when proceeding from an unreasonable and unjust proscription-the easily discernible antipathy of the great majority of those whom we are compelled to live amongst, and whose dislike evinces itself on every occasion that may arise to call it forth. It is from this, the difficulty of identifying the foreigner with the native citizen in one common brotherhood of social and kindly interchange, that has continued them to this hour as distinct and separate classes in the Republic; has associated the German with the German; the Swiss, French, and other emigrants from the
European continent, with those of their own country; the emigrants from Great Britain, especially the Irish, who constitute so large a majority of the entire, almost exclusively with each other, who group and cling together on the instinctive principle of a conjoined support and preservation, and are always found to inhabit some certain districts of the country to themselves; or if, from the nature of their pursuits are resident in towns, live in some distinct and separate locality, which by common assent is set apart for their particular occupancy. It is, perhaps, easy to account from all this, the frequent anxiety, the desire of those who may have already settled in the country, to induce others of their countrymen or kinsfolk to follow their example; who in the recommendation they so often give them to emigrate, are impelled by a desire to draw a circle of immediate friends around themselves; -spirits of a more congenial kind than any they may hope to meet with among their newly-made acquaintance; hoping by such means to smooth away the difficulties of their situation, and in some way reconcile them to the disappointment of their altered condition. Such conduct, no doubt, is peculiarly selfish and ungenerous; it is unfeeling, and withal unjust-but we query if mankind, in their general intercourse, are not commonly swayed by motives equally as reprehensible; and that the happiness of many whom, under a misplaced confidence we class as of our friends, are not often made to rest upon the chance difficulties and troubles that fortune, in
its capricious mood, may sometimes choose to assail us in the world, or may hap are otherwise induced for the purpose of securing some personal or imaginary benefit to themselves.
There are some trades far better remunerated than others; those, for instance, that depend for support and patronage on the necessities and wants of others, rather than their caprice; and on the production of those articles of necessary comfort, more suited to the plain and unpretending habits of a Republican people than of luxury and refinement, the needful appendages of aristocracy and wealth. The spirit of improvement that never flags, the desire to increase existing means, whatever they may be, that identifies itself with the native character of the American citizen, will generally find employment for the useful operative, and secure him a fair and reasonable subsistence. To this end we would advise his remaining as short a while as possible in any of the eastern cities; these are generally crowded with the adventitious and unsettled of every class, as well with the numerous settlers that arrive from Europe in almost every season, as the American, with whom he is generally denied all reasonable competition. He will always find it more conducive to his interests to turn inland, than to waste his time in fruitless efforts near the seaboard. The instructions we have offered in a preceding chapter, will serve to guide him, in the easiest and most expeditious route to the western territory, making Buffalo, or Pittsburg his first resting-place,