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are what we should call high. An agricultural labourer will earn perhaps fifteen dollars a month and his board; and a town labourer will earn a dollar a day. A dollar may be taken as representing four shillings, though it is in fact more. Food in these parts is much cheaper than in England, and therefore the wages must be considered as very good. In making, however, a just calculation it must be borne in mind that clothing is dearer than in England and that much more of it is necessary. The wages nevertheless are high, and will enable the labourer to save money,—if only he can get them paid. The complaint that wages are held back and not even ultimately paid is very

There is no fixed rule for satisfying all such claims once a week; and thus debts to labourers are contracted and when contracted are ignored. With us there is a feeling that it is pitiful, mean almost beyond expression, to wrong a labourer of his hire. We have men who go in debt to tradesmen perhaps without a thought of paying them ;—but when we speak of such a one who has descended into the lowest mire of insolvency, we say that he has not paid his washerwoman. Out there in the West the washerwoman is as fair game as the tailor, the domestic servant as the wine merchant. If a man be honest he will not willingly take either goods or labour without payment; and it may be hard to prove that he who takes the latter is more dishonest than he who takes the former; but with us there is a prejudice in favour of one's washerwoman by which the western mind is not weakened. “They certainly have to be smart to get it," a gentleman said to me whom I taxed on the subject. 6 You see on the frontier a man is bound to be smart. If he ain't smart he'd better go back East;—perhaps as far as Europe. He'll do there." I had got my answer, and my friend had turned the question. But the fact was admitted by him as it had been by many others.

Why this should be so, is a question, to answer which thoroughly would require a volume in itself. As to the driving, why should men submit to it, seeing that labour is abundant, and that in all newly settled countries the labourer is the true hero of the age? In answer to this is to be alleged the fact that hired labour is chiefly done by fresh comers, by Irish and Germans, who have not as yet among them any combination sufficient to protect them from such usage. The men over them are new as masters,-masters who are rough themselves, who themselves have been roughly driven, and who have not learned to be gracious to those below them. It is a part of


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their contract that very hard work shall be exacted; and the driving resolves itself into this,—that the master looking after his own interest is constantly accusing his labourer of a breach of his part of the contract. The men no doubt do become used to it, and slacken probably in their endeavours when the tongue of the master or foreman is not heard. But as to that matter of non-payment of wages, the men must live; and here as elsewhere the master who omits to pay once, will hardly find labourers in future. The matter would remedy itself elsewhere, and does it not do so here? This of course is so, and it is not to be understood that labour as a rule is defrauded of its hire. But the relation of the master and the man admits of such fraud here much more frequently than in England. In England the labourer who did not get his wages on the Saturday could not go on for the next week. To him under such circumstances the world would be coming to an end. But in the Western States, the labourer does not live so completely from hand to mouth. He is rarely paid by the week, is accustomed to give some credit, and till hard pressed by bad circumstances generally has something by him. They do save money, and are thus fattened up to a state which admits of victimization. I cannot owe money to the little village cobbler who mends my shoes, because he demands and receives his payment when his job is done. But to my friend in Regent Street I extend my custom on a different system; and when I make my start for continental life, I have with him a matter of unsettled business to a considerable extent. The American labourer is in the condition of the Regent Street boot-maker ;-excepting in this respect, that he gives his credit under compulsion. “But does not the law set him right? Is there no law against debtors ?” The laws against debtors are plain enough as they are written down, but seem to be anything but plain when called into action. They are perfectly understood, and operations are carried on with the express purpose of evading them. If you proceed against a man, you find that his property is in the hands of some one else. You work in fact for Jones who lives in the next street to you; but when you quarrel with Jones about your wages, you find that according to law you have been working for Smith in another State. In all countries such dodges are probably practicable. But men will or will not have recourse to such dodges according to the light in which they are regarded by the community. In the Western States such dodges do not appear to be regarded as disgraceful. “It behoves a frontier man to be smart, sir."



Honesty is the best policy. That is a doctrine which has been widely preached, and which has recommended itself to many minds as being one of absolute truth.

It is not very ennobling in its sentiment, seeing that it advocates a special virtue, not on the ground that that virtue is in itself a thing beautiful, but on account of the immediate reward which will be its consequence. Smith is enjoined not to cheat Jones, because he will, in the long run, make more money by dealing with Jones on the square. This is not teaching of the highest order; but it is teaching well adapted to human circumstances, and has obtained for itself a wide credit. One is driven, however, to: doubt whether even this teaching is not too high for the frontier

Is it possible that a frontier man should be scrupulous and at the same time successful ? Hitherto those who have allowed scruples to stand in their way have not succeeded; and they who have succeeded and made for themselves great names -who have been the pioneers of civilization-have not allowed ideas of exact honesty to stand in their way. From General Jason down to General Fremont there have been men of great aspirations but of slight scruples. They have been ambitious of power and desirous of progress, but somewhat regardless how power and progress shall be attained. Clive and Warren Hastings were great frontier men, but we cannot imagine that they had ever realized the doctrine that honesty is the best policy. Cortez, and even Columbus, the prince of frontier men, are in the same category. The names of such heroes is legion. But with none of them has absolute honesty been a favourite virtue. “It behoves a frontier man to be smart, sir.” Such, in that or other language, has been the prevailing idea. Such is the prevailing idea. And one feels driven to ask oneself whether such must not be the prevailing idea with those who leave the world and its rules behind them, and go forth with the resolve that the world and its rules shall follow them.

Of filibustering, annexation, and polishing savages off the face of creation there has been a great deal, and who can deny that humanity has been the gainer? It seems to those who look widely back over history, that all such works have been carried on in obedience to God's laws. When Jacob by Rebecca's aid cheated his elder brother he was very smart; but we cannot but suppose that a better race was by this smartness put in possession of the patriarchal sceptre. Esau was polished off, and readers of Scripture wonder why heaven with its thunder did not open over the heads of Rebecca and her haps the day may come when scrupulous honesty may be the best policy even on the frontier. I can only say that hitherto that day seems to be as distant as ever. I do not pretend to solve the problem, but simply record my opinion that under circumstances as they still exist I should not willingly select a frontier life for

But Jacob with all his fraud was the chosen one. Per



children. I have said that all great frontier men have been unscrupulous. There is, however, an exception in history which may perhaps serve to prove the rule. The Puritans who colonized New England were frontier men, and were, I think, in general scrupulously honest. They had their faults. They were stern, austere men, tyrannical at the backbone when power came in their way, -as are all pioneers ;-hard upon vices for which they who made the laws had themselves no minds; but they were not dishonest.

At Milwaukee I went up to see the Wisconsin volunteers, who were then encamped on open ground in the close vicinity of the town. Of Wisconsin I had heard before, -and have heard the same opinion repeated since,—that it was more backward in its volunteering than its neighbour States in the West. Wisconsin has 760,000 inhabitants, and its tenth thousand of volunteers was not then made up; whereas Indiana with less than double its number had already sent out thirty-six thousand. Iowa, with a hundred thousand less of inhabitants, had then made up fifteen thousand. But nevertheless to me it seemed that Wisconsin was quite alive to its presumed duty in that respect. Wisconsin with its three quarters of a million of people is as large as England. Every acre of it may be made productive, but as yet it is not balf cleared. Of such a country its young men are its heart's blood. Ten thousand men fit to bear arms carried away from such a land to the horrors of civil war is a sight as full of sadness as any on which the eye can rest. Ah me, when will they return, and with what altered hopes! It is, I fear, easier to turn the sickle into the sword, than to recast the sword back again into the sickle!

We found a completed regiment at Wisconsin consisting entirely of Germans. A thousand Germans had been collected in that State and brought together in one regiment, and I was informed by an officer on the ground that there are many Germans in sundry other of the Wisconsin regiments. It may be well to mention here that the number of Germans through all these western States is very great. Their number and wellbeing were to me astonishing. That they form a great portion of the population of New

York, making the German quar


ter of that city the third largest German town in the world, I have long known; but I had no previous idea of their expansion westward. In Detroit nearly every third shop bore a German name, and the same remark was to be made at Milwaukee ;-and on all hands I heard praises of their morals, of their thrift, and of their new patriotism. I was continually told how far they exceeded the Irish settlers. To me in all parts of the world an Irishman is dear. When handled tenderly he becomes a creature most loveable. But with all my judgment in the Irishman's favour, and with my prejudices leaning the same way, I feel myself bound to state what I heard and what I saw as to the Germans.

But this regiment of Germans, and another not completed regiment, called from the State generally, were as yet without arms, accoutrements, or clothing. There was the raw material of the regiment, but there was nothing else. Winter was coming on,-winter in which the mercury is commonly 20 degrees below zero,—and the men were in tents with no provi. sion against the cold. These tents held each two men, and were just large enough for two to lie. The canvas of which they were made seemed to me to be thin, but was I think always double. At this camp there was a house in which the men took their meals, but I visited other camps in which there was no such accommodation. I saw the German regiment called to its supper by tuck of drum, and the men marched in gallantly, armed each with a knife and spoon. I managed to make my way in at the door after them, and can testify to the excellence of the provisions of which their supper consisted. A poor diet never enters into any combination of circumstances contemplated by an American. Let him be where he will, animal food is, with him, the first necessary of life, and he is always provided accordingly. As to those Wisconsin men whom I saw, it was probable that they might be marched off, down south to Washington, or to the doubtful glories of the western campaign under Fremont before the winter commenced. The same might have been said of any special regiment. But taking the whole mass of men who were collected under canvas at the end of the autumn of 1861, and who were so collected without arms or military clothing, and without protection from the weather, it did seem that the task taken in hand by the Commissariat of the Northern army was one not devoid of difficulty.

The view from Milwaukee over Lake Michigan is very pleasing. One looks upon a vast expanse of water to which the

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