תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

likewise adds to the number, and improves the quality of his fruit-trees : his sons work by his fide all the year, and his wife and daughters forsake the dairy and the spinning-wheel, to thare with him in the toils of harvest. The last object of his industry is to build a dwelling-house. This business is sometimes effected in the course of his life, but is oftener bequeathed to his son, or the inheritor of his plantation ; and hence we have a common saying among our best farmers, ' that a son should always begin where his father left off;' that is, he should begin his improvements, by building a commodious dwelling-house, suited to the improvements and value of the plantation. This dwelling-house is generally built of stone; it is large, convenient, and filled with useful and subftantial furniture ; it sometimes adjoins the house of the second settler, but is frequently placed at a little distance from it. The horses and cattle of this species of settler, bear marks in their strength, fat, and fruitfulness--of their being plentifully fed and carefully kept. His table abounds with a variety of the best provisions; his very kitchen flows with milk and honey ; beer, cyder, and wine are the usual drinks of his family; the greatelt part of the clothing of his family is manufactured by his wife and daughters. In proportion as he increases in wealth, he values the protection of laws : hence he punctually pays his taxes towards the support of government. Schools and churches likewile, as the means of promoting order and happiness in society, derive a due support from him: for benevolence and public spirit, as to these objects, are the natural offspring of afluence and independence. Of this class of settlers are two-thirds of the farmers of Pennsylvania : these are the men to whom Pennsylvania owes her ancient fame and consequence. If they poffefs less refinement than their fouthern neighbours, who cultivate their lands with flaves, they possess more republican virtue. It was from the farms cultivated by these men, that the American and French armies were fed chiefly with bread during the late revolution : and it was from the produce of these farms, that those millions of dollars were obtained from the Havanna after the year 1780, which laid the foundation of the bank of North America, and which fed and clothed the American army, till the glorious peace of Paris,

This is a short account of the happiness of a Pennsylvania farmer; to this happiness our state invites men of every religion and country. We do not pretend to offer emigrants the pleasure of Arcadia ; it is enough if affluence, independence, and happiness are insured to patience, industry, and labour. The moderate price of land *, the credit which

arises

* The unoccupied lands are sold by the state for cbout fix guineas, inclufive of all charges, per hundred acres. But as mest of the lands that are settled, are procured from persons who had purchased them from the state, they are fold to the first settler for a much higher price. The qualiíy of the soil; its vicinity to mills, court-houses, places of Worship, and navigable water : the distance of land carriage to the sea-ports of Philadelphia or Baltimore, and the nature of the roads, all influence the price of land to the first settler. The quantity of cleared land, and the nature of the improvements, added to all the above circumfrances, influence the price of farms to the second and third settlers. Hence the

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

manners.

[ocr errors]

arises from prudence, and the safety from our courts of law, of every
species of property, render the blessings which I have described, objects
within the reach of every man.
From a review of the three different species of settlers, it appears,

that there are certain regular stages which mark the progress from the savage to civilized life. The first settler is nearly related to an Indian in his

In the second, the Indian manners are more diluted. It is in the third species of settlers only, that we behold civilization completed. It is to the third species of settlers only, that it is proper to apply the term of farmers.

While we record the vices of the first and second settlers, it is but just to mention their virtues likewise. Their mutual wants produce mutual dependence: hence they are kind and friendly to each other--their solitary situation makes visitors agreeable to thein ; hence they are hospitable to strangers ; their 'want of money (for they raise but little more. than is necessary to support their families) has made it necessary for them to associate for the purposes of building houses, cutting their grain, and the like. This they do in turns for each other, without any other

pay than the pleasures which usually attend a country frolic. Perhaps, what I have called virtues, are rather qualities arising from necessity, and the peculiar state of society in which these people live. Virtue should, in all cases, be the offspring of principle.

I do not pretend to say, that this mode of settling farms in Pennsylvania is universal, I have known some instances where the first settler has performed the improvements of the second, and yielded to the third. I have known a few instances likewise, of men of enterprizing spirits, who have settled in the wilderness, and who, in the course of a single life, have advanced through all the intermediate stages of improvement that I have mentioned, and produced all those conveniencies which have been ascribed to the third species of settlers; thereby resembling, in their exploits, not only the pioneers and light-infantry, but the main body of an army.

There are instances, likewise, where the first settlement has been improved by the same family, in hereditary succession, till it has reached the third stage of cultivation. There are many spacious ftone houses, and highly cultivated farms in the neighbouring counties of the city of Philadelphia, which are poffeffed by the grandsons and greatgrandsons of men who accompanied William Penn across the ocean, and who laid the foundation of the present improvements of their poterity, in such cabins as have been described.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

price of land to the first settler is from a quarter of a guinea to two guineas per acre; and the price of farms is from one guinea to ten givineas per acre, to the second and third settlers, according as the land is varied by the beforementioned circumstances. When the first settler is unable to purchajė, he often takes a tract of land for seven years on a lease, and contracts, injtead of paying a rent in cash, to clear fifty acres of land, to build a log cabin, and a barn, and to plant an orchard on it. This tract, after the expiration of this lease, fells or rents for a confiderable profit.

This

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

This passion, strange and new as it may appear to an European, is wisely calculated for the extension of population in America : and this it does, not only by promoting the increase of the human species in new fettlements, but in the old settlement likewise. While the degrees of industry and knowledge in agriculture, in our country, are proportioned to farms of from 75 to 300 acres, there will be a languor in population, as foon as farmers multiply beyond the number of farms of the above dimenfions. · To remove this languor, which is kept up alike by the increafe of the price, and the division of farms, a migration of part of the community becomes absolutely necessary. And as this part of the community often consists of the idle and extravagant, who eat without working, their removal, by increasing the facility of subsistence to the frugal and industrious who remain behind, naturally increases the number of people, just as the cutting off the suckers of an apple-tree increases the size of the tree and the quantity of fruit.

I have only to add upon this subject, that the migrants from Pennsylvania always travel to the southward. The soil and climate of the western parts of Virginia, North and south Carolina, and Georgia, afford a more easy support to lazy farmers, than the stubborn bút durable soil of Pennsylvania. Here our ground requires deep and “repeated ploughing to render it fruitful ; there scratching the ground once or twice affords tolerable crops. In Pennsylvania, the length and coldness of the winter makes it necessary for the farmers to bestow a large share of their labour in providing for, and feeding their cattle; but in the southern states, cattle find pasture during the greatest part of the winter, in the fields or woods. For these reasons, the greatest part of the western counties of the states that have been mentioned, are settled by original inhabitants of Pennsylvania. During the late war, the militia of Orange county, in North Carolina, were enrolled, and their number amounted to 3500, every man of whom had migrated from Pennsylvania. From this

you will fee, that our state is the great outport of the United States for Europeans; and that, after performing the office of a fieve, by detaining all those people who pofiess the stamina of industry and

virtue, it allows a passage to the reit, to those states which are accommodated to their habits of indolence and vice.

I Mall conclude this letter by remarking, that in the mode of extending population and agriculture, which I have described, we behold a bew fpecies of war. The third settler may be viewed as a conqueror. the wcapons with which he atc'ieves his conquests, are the implements effiulbandry: and the virtues which direct them, are industry and ecozony. Idieneís, extravagance and ignorance fly before him. Happy "Would it be for mankind, if the kings of Europe would adopt this mode es extending their territories: it would foon put an end to the dreadful connection, which has cxiited in every age, between war and poverty, and between conqueit and defolation *.

These observations are equally applicable to the progress of the settlements in all new countries.

[ocr errors]

See Col. Mag. Vol. I. p. 117.

Religion.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Religion.) We have already mentioned the prevailing religious feets in this state. A particular account of some of their peculiar customs and tenets will here be expected.

Of the great variety of religious denominations in Pennsylvania, the FRIENDS or QUAKERS are the most numerous. George Fox is called the Father of this religious sect, because he first collected them into a society in England, about the middle of the 17th century. The trụe appellatiou of these people is FRIENDS ; that of QUAKERS was early and unjustly given them by way of contempt. They came over to America as early as 1656, but were not indulged the free exercise of their religion in New-England *

They were the first settlers of Pennsylvania in 1682, under William Penn, and have ever since flourished in the free enjoyment of their religion. They believe that God has given to all men sufficient light to work their salvation, unless it be resisted ; that this light is as extenfive as the seed of sin, and saves those who have not the outward means of salvation; that this light is a divine principle, in which dwells God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. They maintain that the scriptures are not the principal ground of all truth and kno:vledge ; nor yet the primary rule of faith and manners ; but because they give a true testimony of the first foundation, they are and may be esteemed a secondary rule, subordinate to the Spirit, from whom they derive all their excellence. They believe that immediate revelation has not ceased, but that a measure of the Spirit is given to every person. That as by the light or gift of God, all spiritual knowledge is received, those who have this gift, whether male or female, though without human commission or learning, ought to preach; and to preach freely, as they have freely received the gift. All true and acceptable worship of God, they maintain, is by the inward and immediate moving of his Spirit; and that water baptism and the Lord's supper were commanded only for a time. They neither give titles, nor use compliments in their conversation or writings, believing that whatsoever is more than yea, yea, and nay, nay, cometh of evil. They conscientiously avoid, as unlawful, kneeling, bowing, or uncovering the head to any person. They discard all superhuities in dress or equipage ; all games, sports, and plays, as unbecoming the chriftian. • Swear not at all’ is an article of their creed, literally observed in its utmost extent. They believe it unlawful, to fight in any case whatever; and think that if their enemy smite them on the one cheek, they ought to turn to him the other also t. They are generally honest, punctual, and even punctilious in their dealings; provident for the necessities of their poor; friends to humanity, and of course enemies to slavery ; strict in their discipline ; careful in the observance even of the punctilios in dress, speech and manners, which their religion enjoins ; faithful in

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

* See Hift. of Masachusetts and Connecticut.

+ During the late war, some of their number, contrary to this article of their faith, thought it their duty to take up arms in defence of their country, This laid the foundation of a secesion from their brethren, and they now form a separate congregation in Philadelphia, by the name of the Refifting or fighting Quakers.

the education of their children; industrious in their several occupations. In short, whatever peculiarities and mistakes those of other denominations have supposed they have fallen into, in point of religious doctrines, they have proved themselves to be good citizens.

Next to the Quakers, the PRESBYTERIANS are the most numerous ; concerning whom we have nothing to add to what we have already faid under New-York. (page 268.)

The protestant EPISCOPAL CHURCH of New York, New- Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and South-Carolina, met in convention at Philadelphia, October 1785, and revised the book of common prayer, and administration of the sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies, and published and proposed the book, thus revised, for the use of the church. This revision was made in part, in order to render the liturgy consistent with the American revolution, and the constitutions of the feveral ilates. In this they have discovered their liberality and their patriotism. In Pennfylvania and the southern states this revised book is pretty generally used by the episcopal churches. In New-York and New Jersey it has not been adopted.

There are upwards of fixty minifters of the Lutheran and CALVINIST religion, who are of German extraction, now in this state; all of whom have one or more congregations under their care ; and many of them preach in splendid and expensive churches: and yet the first' Lutheran minister, who arrived in Pennsylvania about forty years ago, was alive in 1787, and probably is still, as was also the second Calvinistical minister.

The Lutherans do not differ, in any thing essential, from the Episcopalians; nor do the Calvinists from the Presbyterians.

The MORAVIANS are of German extraction. Of this religion there are about 1300 fouls in Pennsylvania ; viz. between 500 and 600 in Bethlehem ; 450 in Nazareth; and upwards of 300 at Litiz, in Lancaster county. They call themselves the “ United Brethren of the Protestant Episcopal church. They are called Moravians, because the first settlers in the English dominions were chiefly emigrants from Moravia. These were the remnant and genuine descendants of the church of the ancient United Brethren, established in Bohemia and Moravia, as early as the year 1456. About the middle of the last century, they left their native country, to avoid persecution, and to enjoy liberty of conscience, and the free exercise of the religion of their forefathers. They were received in Saxony, and other Proteitant dominions, and were encouraged to settle among them, and were joined by many serious people of other denominations. They adhere to the Auguftan Confession of Faith, which was drawn up by the Protestant divines at the time of the reformation in Germany, in the year 1530, and presented at the diet of the empire at Augihurgh; and which, at that time, contained the doctrinal system of all the eitablished Protestant churches. They retain the discipline of their ancient church, and make use of Episcopal ordination, which has been handed down to them in a direct line of succession for more than three hundred years*.

* See David Crantz Hift. of The ancient and modern United Brethren's church, translated from the German, by the Rev. Benjamin La Trobe. London, 1780.'

As

« הקודםהמשך »