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We neither find that the people who went to Georgia were the subject of regret in the country they left, nor that this operation, by its subsequent effects, produced any such inconvenience as to give rise to the slightest complaint.
This example seems to prove that the utmost effect of such encouragement will by itself be inconsiderable and transitory; and that there is no reason to be apprehensive of the consequences of any temporary inducements which government might judge proper for the purpose of diverting the emigration into a different channel. I have observed that there is no necessity for continuing this encouragement long, or affording it to any but the first who should enter into the measures proposed, or at most to a few people from each district. Supposing that such a party were even wholly composed of persons who would not otherwise have emigrated, it is not clear that they would form a nett addition to the general amount of emigration; for, if I have been successful in proving that this disposition arises from un
avoidable and radical causes in the state of the country, then must it go on till these causes are exhausted, and the population is brought to that level which natural circumstances point out. A certain number of people must leave the country; and whether it falls to the lot of this or of that man to go, the general result will not be affected. If a set of people, who had no such intention, are by any means induced to go, they make room for others to stay, who would otherwise have been under the necessity of emigrating.
The force of this principle is illustrated by the feelings of the country-people themselves on the subject; by the anxiety they frequently show that others should emigrate, though they have no such intention themselves; merely that they may have a chance of procuring lands which would not otherwise be in their offer. It has been known in more than one instance, that an individual, who felt that his example would have some weight, has even pretended to join in the emigration, and made every demonstra
tion of zeal for the undertaking, till his neighbours have been fully committed, and has then deserted them as soon as he could see any vacant farm, that he could have a chance of procuring.
But if peculiar advantages are to be given to encourage a party of emigrants to settle in a new situation, is it to be supposed that these must all be people who would not otherwise have left the country? Or rather is not such a supposition contrary to every probability? Let encouragement be held out, even in the most indiscriminate manner, the persons most likely to accept the offer, will certainly be those whose views were previously directed to emigration. Perhaps, indeed, the more opulent among the people who have taken such a resolution, will not be easily diverted from their preconceived plans, and will be little influenced by the offer of assistance. Those who feel some difficulty in accomplishing their views, will be the more ready to listen to terms by which the attainment of their object is rendered more easy. The encouragement held
out, must therefore be of such a nature as to suit those whose means are scanty. There is a chance, no doubt, that, in this way, emigration may be brought within the reach of a few, who could not otherwise have made the attempt. The difference, however, must be trifling; and, at any rate, the object in view deserves some sacrifice. There are individuals, perhaps, in the Highlands, who think it better that a hundred persons should emigrate to the United States, than that a hundred and one should go to our own colonies. But this is a sentiment in which, I trust, they will not be joined by many whose opinions deserve respect.
XII. Measures adopted in pursuance of these views by the author: Settlement formed in Prince Edward's Island: its difficulties, progress and final success.
WHEN these general principles are understood, the part which I have myself taken, in regard to the settlers whom I conveyed, in 1803, to Prince Edward's Island, will need little explanation. Of these settlers the greatest proportion were from the Isle of Sky; a district which had so decided a connexion with North Carolina, that no emigrants had ever gone from it to any other quarter. There were a few others from Ross-shire, from the North part of Argyleshire, and from some interior districts of Inverness-shire, all of whose connexions lay in some part of the United States. There were some also from a part of the Island of Uist, where the emigration had not taken a decided direction.
If my views had extended no further than the mere improvement of a property in the