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GRANTS TO THE U. E. LOYALISTS.
Farming utensils, building materials, and two years' provisions were supplied to them; and, besides the land given to themselves, allotments of 200 acres were granted to each of their children on attaining the age of twenty-one years. This has thrown into the hands of persons of small capital, and little agricultural knowledge or pecuniary means, larger tracts of land than they have been able beneficially to cultivate.
Had those grants been made in farms of 100, or even 50 acres each, it would, in the judgment of the President, have been better for the province, and for the actual condition of its practical husbandry.
This, we should say at once, might probably have been the case. But the argument appears to have a better foundation than could be gathered by a stranger as the words fell from the lips of the speaker, when we consider the extent of land granted to the U. E. Loyalists, and how little has, as yet, been done to a large proportion of that which was assigned to their children.
In the authorised Statistical Report of the Canadian Board, (Montreal, 1849,) these lands are described as consisting of:Located,
321,950 Other lands,
3,206,987 I do not know exactly what distinction is intended between the second and third quantities of these lands in the above enumeration; but if it be the case that, of the 34 millions of acres granted, only 150 thousand are located—by which I understand actually under cultivation-it does seem as if the original benevolent intentions of the Home Government had been greatly interfered with, and rendered abortive.
A large proportion of the later grants, I believe,
LETTING OF FARMS.
never came into the possession of those for whom they were intended. The claims, prospective rights, or warrants of the children of the loyalists, for 200 acres each, were in great numbers transferred to other parties for small sums of money, and thus came into the hands of persons—often speculators—who have not themselves hitherto possessed the ability or the intention to bring them into cultivation.
Such unlooked-for occurrences as this are to be classed among the other unanticipated consequences which have followed from grants of land made in Canada, often with the best intentions—consequences to be regretted, and which may retard, but, it is consolatory to think, cannot prevent the growth and prosperity of this rapidly rising colony.
The land in Upper Canada is generally cultivated by its owners, as in the United States. In the Gore District, which lies at the head of Lake Ontario, and contains land of the best quality, only about one in twenty is let to a tenant. In the newer settled districts, the system of letting in shares is most common; if the landlord gives only the land, he has a third—if he finds stock also, he gets two-thirds. In the older settled districts, money-rents are common, and leases of seven years are granted, with restrictive conditions as to cropping. Good wheat-land, not within ten or twelve miles of a town, lets at two dollars—about 27 bushels an acre.
In the table given in a preceding page, it will be seen that the quantity of barley grown in Upper Canada-half a million of bushels—is comparatively small. The produce of this grain is not, however, as in Great Britain, any test of the amount of fermented liquors, and especially of ardent spirits, which are manufactured and consumed. I have already stated, in reference to the Indian corn of the Western States, that distillation was one of the outlets by which the excessive produce of this
grain had hitherto been disposed of. Cincinnati, in Ohio, of which I have spoken as the great centre of the packing business, is also the great centre of the whisky manufacture. It is the great whisky mart of the West, and probably larger stocks of whisky are to be found at one time in that city than in any other market in the world. The whole quantity produced by the distilleries of this city, or brought into it from more or less distant distilleries, is about 1000 barrels, of forty gallons each, per day, or 14,500,000 gallons in a year. The quantity shipped off in the state of whisky-chiefly down the Mississippi — is estimated at 11,000,000 of gallons, while about 1,000,000 gallons more are converted into alcohol, and disposed of to the Atlantic States. All this whisky is manufactured from Indian corn; and even for the mashing, barley is not necessary, as sprouted Indian corn makes a malt as serviceable to the distiller as that from barley.
In Canada, which is not so much of an Indian-corn country, this grain is also used in the distilleries, although not so exclusively as in the Western States, where this grain is a drug. I had the opportunity of conversing with the intelligent and enterprising owner of a large distillery in the neighbourhood of Kingston, who informed me that he used chiefly rye and Indian corn, but sometimes pease also—all ground up together.
, Two bushels of barley malt were sufficient for a bushel of crushed rye-Indian corn requires four bushels to one. When barley is scarce, a larger proportion of rye can be used. I was most interested in the use of pease, which, from their composition, one would not expect to be well fitted either to give a good sample or a large return of spirit. He informed me, however, that the yield was tolerably good, but the quality inferior to that from Indian corn-the main objection being, that the spirit carries the flavour of the pea along with it.
PROSPECTS OF KINGSTON.
Though Kingston possesses, in its happy position, a certain assurance of great future prosperity, its progress was somewhat checked by the removal of the seat of Government to Montreal, upon the union of the provinces. Placed at the head of the navigation of the St Lawrence, at the junction of the Rideau Canal with Lake Ontario, and with direct access to the commerce of the States and upper lakes by steam-boats and railways, it will grow with the general growth of Canada, especially with the settlement of the basin of the Ottawa, and the increase of the carrying trade of the great river, till it will compete on at least equal terms with Rochester and Oswego, on the south side of the lake. It is not, as some fancy, feverish energy and over-speculation that are required, but a patient trust in the natural development of the resources of the country, and a prudent and cautious use of the new opportunities of advancing it which every succeeding year presents.
Sept. 22.—Leaving my kind and hospitable friends in Kingston, I embarked for Montreal at 74 A.M. We had neither rain nor fog in sailing among the Thousand Isles, but the absence of the sun robbed this part of the voyage of half its beauty. I was reminded of the Ten Thousand
I Islands of the Swedish Lake Maeler, and of the less numerous islets of our own Loch Lomond, as we glided rapidly down the stream; but not a gleam of sunshine
; descended to give the Canadian scenery the bright sparkle which I have seen lending so much joyfulness to these European lakes. A quiet beauty, nevertheless, suffused the river, and, with agreeable and instructive society on board, the day passed pleasantly. Darkness had already come on for more than an hour before we stopped for the night at Coteau-du-Lac, at the foot of Lake St Francis, and 160 miles below Kingston. We had, during the day, descended several rapids, which can only be passed by ascending vessels through the
RUNNING THE RAPIDS.
short canals which have been constructed for the purpose, near the banks of the river. But the most formidable of the river rapids were yet to come; and it was to obtain daylight for the passage of these that we pulled up at the foot of Lake St Francis.
Sept. 23.-At four in the morning we were again under weigh, and most of the passengers on deck, to witness the running of the three formidable rapids, which occur within the next sixteen miles. The descent
very interesting. The rapid current, the often narrow channel, and the care in steering, all told of difficulty in the passages; and when one looked at the large ship, , dodging, as it were, among the shallows and headlands, it appeared really wonderful that accidents should so rarely happen. At the foot of the cascades we entered Lake St Louis, where the Ontario from the north falls into the St Lawrence; and at seven we reached Lachine, in the island of Montreal. Here most of the passengers landed, and proceeded by railway nine miles to the city. The really dangerous rapids, however, were still below us, and as the boat was about to pass them, I and a few others remained on board, with the captain's permission, till the boat arrived at Montreal.
This was certainly the most striking part of the voyage; and it is one which a stranger visiting Montreal ought not to allow himself to be prevented from performing. Of the rapids between Lachine and Montreal the most formidable and dangerous, is that of the Sault St Louis. The descent of this rapid, in so large a vessel, created in my mind a feeling of surprise. In descending the Tobique, in my bark-canoe, with a single
Indian polling and fending off, in quick and narrow and rocky rapids, I could not help admiring the nice tact, the instinctive perception as it were, with which a gentle touch of the pole on the threatening rock, at the proper moment, kept all safe. Here, on the St Lawrence, the