« ПретходнаНастави »
to whose happiness civil and religious liberty were essential; and men of domestic feelings, who wished to provide for the future support and prosperity of their offspring. Under such circumstances as these it was,
that my friends turned their thoughts, in the way of enquiry merely, upon the subject of emigration to America. Having so done, they naturally set themselves seriously to investigate the state of the country and the character of the people; but, singular as it may seem, they were unable to obtain satisfactory information. Most of the books which they could procure contained evidently partial statements; some were written to exalt and some to vilify the situation of the country and its inhabitants, but none of them possessed that kind of information which was wanted by my friends; no lists of prices, of wages, rents, &c.* ; no statements, or but imperfect ones, relative to individual trades or manufactures'; little or nothing, in short, of that homely kind of intelligence which was wanted on such an occasion. It was, at length, resolved that some one should visit the country to make the necessary enquires — the lot fell upon my
– self; but I owe it in justice both to the public
* It may be proper to observe that, in the following pages, the prices of live stock, &c. are often stated in what may appear singular amounts; this arises from turning American dollars into British currency.
"and to myself to state, that circumstances, which at the time left me free from my usual pursuits, rather than any supposed peculiar fitness for the undertaking, guided their choice of me for the task ; although it is among the first pleasures of
my life to reflect that they relied at least upon my faithfulness and industry.
Recurring to the fact of publication, I pretend to-few, if any, of the accomplishments which are deemed necessary for the regular traveller, writing professedly for the instruction or amusement of the public. The information, however, which I was deputed to collect, I sought for with all the diligence, and forwarded with all the accuracy, in my power. It was my wish to put my friends as much as possible into my situation -- to inform them both of what I saw myself, and what I learned from others, where I thought that information might be relied upon. My enquiries were facilitated by various introductions, and aided by some personal friends who had previously emigrated to America.
I arrived in the city of New York, August 6th, 1817, and finally quitted that place, May 10th, 1818, after having made a tour, including both the Eastern and Western States of the American Union. Returned to England, I have, naturally enough, received applications for information relative to the country I had
visited, from many persons disposed to settle there: some of these were parties of respectability and capital, not dissimilar in their views and objects from those which my friends had proposed to themselves. To these, therefore, the information I had collected might be supposed to be not unacceptable; many others, for various reasons, may wish to be possessed of these facts : such are the motives which have induced me to submit my “ Reports to the public. In forming their estimate of this production, I have therefore to request of my readers to bear constantly in mind the view with which I have written, and not expect to find the work that which the author does not pretend it to be. My object has not been to make a book ; but, circumstances having occurred to give me information which appears valuable because it may be useful, I wish to give it to the world, and am content to do so in a plain, unvarnished manner. The work
may have many faults and numerous imperfections. Little accustomed as I am to write for the public eye, the critic I presume will find in it much to censure – in style - in arrangement
- — and perhaps in materials ; but the object I have had in view will, at least, be a pledge to the public of the faithfulness and sincerity of my statements. My intention in writing has certainly been neither to flatter nor deceive : my Reports were originally composed neither with a view to
fame nor profit, — neither to exalt a country, to support a party, nor to promote a settlement. I have had every motive to speak what I thought the truth, and none to conceal or pervert it. The interests of my dearest friends depended most intimately upon the correctness of my statements. I wished to put them in possession of
every thing I knew : the public will now decide whether what I have found to communicate be either useful or instructive.
CIVIL AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY,
ARE RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED,
H. B. FEARON.
October 2nd, 1818.