« ForrigeFortsett »
and from where he can shape his course into whatever district of this vast country, his inquiries may instruct him as the best suited to his capabilities and enterprise.
The incumbrance of a family, under such circumstances, is always a very considerable drawback as tending to retard his progress and speedy settlement, whilst every day's delay adds to his expenses. We apprehend that there is no remedy we can apply to this inconvenience, beyond a moderate share of patience, except that the emigrant can make some arrangement for their temporary domicile at Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, or some other of the large inland towns, where it is very probable he will always meet with some of his own countrymen, who may take an interest in instructing him in this detail, and enable him to prosecute his inquiry without further trouble or difficulty on this score; it will always be very easy to send for them when permanently settled in his new location.
The artisan of America possesses many advantages over the generality of the same class in England, both in point of education, general aptitude and intelligence, though seldom as efficient, or as good workmen. They are a persevering, frugal, and industrious class, and by these means, are generally enabled to secure to themselves far more of the comforts and necessaries of life than the English operative. They are in general of sober habits, though the quantity of beer and spirits used in the United States, greatly exceeds the amount consumed
POPULATION OF THE UNITED STATES,
by the same extent of population in England. Yet, there are seldom any drunkards to be met with in the streets, none of the depravity and crime, that originating in these excesses, exhibit themselves with such fearful recurrence in the old country. It is, perhaps, that the American being more habituated to the use of strong liquors, almost from his childhood, is seldom inconvenienced by the same consequence, as the less accustomed of English tradesmen to similar indulgence.
No European nation comprises within its limit a more diversified or chequered population than the United States; amounting according to the last census, (1840,) to 17,069,453, including 2,487,355 slaves; 386,293 free coloured persons, and 14,189,705 whites; the latter, made up of the descendants of almost every people, with a considerable increase in each succeeding year, from the influx of European emigrants that crowd its shores. But, as the greater proportion are of British origin, they resemble the parent country more than any other: while living under the same suppositious laws, and speaking the same language, they present in the national characteristics of the population of the different states, but few shades of real variety. The entire are distinguished by the same absorbing and eager appetite for the acquisition of wealth, the great ruling passion of every American, of every profession and grade, and to which their energies are at all times directed.
The New England States are, perhaps, freer from
THEIR DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS. 9
this admixture of foreign emigrants, than perhaps, almost any other part of the American Union; and consequently, preserve a far more uniform character with its population. Property is here more equally divided-religion and the precepts of morality more strictly observed and attended to-education more advanced, and industry and frugality, the distinguishing traits of every citizen.
The middle states are of a different complexion: composed of the descendants of English, Dutch, French, German, Irish and Scotch; are lax in moral habits, far less advanced in education, and are by no means as active as their northern neighbours in their industry and business pursuits.
The south, on which the brand of slavery is affixed, presents in its population, the character of moral degradation-of depravity and licentiousness, not certainly to be found, to any near extent, in the other parts of the Republic. Education, is here comparatively neglected, and an inactivity and indolence partly generated by a relaxing and enervating climate, the distinguishing mark of the entire population.
The western states, that present an extended, and almost unlimited, field for industry and active enterprise, are of late years assuming an importance and character, in no way secondary to any other part of the Republic; and are distinguished, in their mixed population, by the characteristic features of such of the other sections of the country, from where emigration has set in, in the greatest numbers. They
somewhat more resemble the hardy, the industrious and untiring citizen of the northern and eastern states, than of the three other divisions we have noticed.
The northern and eastern states, comprise within their territory, what may be considered the thew and sinew-the strength and nerve of the Republic; its prop and mainstay, in time of war, and in and in peace, the principal promoters of its prosperity and welfare. With an ardent and intelligent population, remarkable for their energy and patient industry, they unite within themselves, four-fifths at least, of the manufacturing population of the entire Union; and while thus administering to the wants, and preserving the nation from a dependency on foreign aid, for many of the necessaries and luxuries of life, secure profitable employment to a large number of a comparatively dense population. They are, in fact, the pioneers and labourers of the far west, as indeed the business men and factors of a great proportion of the Republic, particularly of the southern states; where the majority of the population, from a native indolence of disposition, are of themselves unfitted to many of the arduous and more laborious duties of an active business, or commercial life.
Mechanics are not always certain of employment in the eastern states, or cities. The great influx of foreigners and strangers from other parts, has sometimes the effect of increasing the supply beyond the demand. But the spirit of improvement that within the last few years has brought so many and thriving
towns into being in the interior, and increased to an incredible extent, the size of those previously in existence, promising within a few years more, to outstrip the fairest cities of the eastern seaboard, will ensure the artizan a more steady demand for his industry and effort-a more certain employment than were he to remain land-locked, in, or near to any of the Atlantic cities, where, with increased competition, he may sometimes find it difficult to get along.
House-Carpenters, as of the most useful trade in a newly explored country, are always in great request, and ensure good wages, averaging from nine to ten dollars per week in summer, and from eight to nine dollars in winter, with constant employment-they are generally in great demand in the south, where their wages are somewhat higher, and unaffected by the winter season. There is, in the United States, a great deal of elaborate and fancy work, in the variety of wooden buildings, the ornamental part of churches, and larger dwelling houses, made to imitate stone, which it so clearly resembles, as to often deceive the nicest observer, and which gives employment, at advanced wages, to the most competent workmen, who certainly are not excelled by those of any other country. The seaports also give constant work to a numerous and efficient class, in preparing and furnishing those superior accommodations on board their merchant vessels, surpassing every other shipping in the world. They,