SOME OBSERVATIONS Relating to the PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE Province of the Massachusetts-Bay; Humbly offered to the CONSIDERATION of the General Assembly.

The Romans carefully cultivated their own Lands with­out coveting those of their Neighbours; and by that Means enriched the Republick and enlarged the Empire with such a Number of Lands, Cities and Nations.


BOSTON: Printed and Sold by D. FOWLE, next to the Prison in Queen-Street. 1750.


Lately Publish'd, And Sold by ROGERS and FOWLE in Queen-Street, next to the Prison,

AN Exact TABLE to bring Old Tenor into Lawful Money. Also a TABLE to know the Value of Pistoles, Guineas, Johannes, and double Johannes, Moydores, English Crowns, Half Crowns, Shillings, and Copper Half Pence, at the Rate of Dollars at SIX SHILLINGS a Piece, at which invariable Value they are fixed by a late Act of this Government. The Act to be in Force from and after the 31st of MARCH. 1750.

Also a Correct TABLE from ONE PENNY to TWENTY SHILLINGS Old Tenor; which may serve as a Supplement to the above TABLE, and be further useful to Shopkeepers in new marking the prizes of their Goods.

☞ The above TABLES have been so well approved of by the Publick for two Months past, that no Person has yet pretended to find a Single Mistake in them.


Some OBSERVATIONS relating to the Circumstances of the Province.

IF an Inhabitant of this Province, who is much interested in its Happiness, will but cast his Eye back on the three or four past Years, and view his Country sinking under an insupportable Burden of Taxes and a Decay of Trade, his Mind must feel a very sensible Shock: and even any one who is possessed of but the common Principles of Humanity, and so ways interested in the Fate of this Province, would be excited to a generous Pity for its unhappy Circumstances, when he view'd it in such a Situation.

IT is some Alleviation however of such a Misfortune, that it proceeded from heavy Charges, consequent on a long expensive War, carried on by Subjects, who have distinguished themselves by Loyalty to the best of Kings, and by a firm Attachment to the Liberty and Priviledges of the happiest of Governments.

WHILE the Neighbouring Provinces have, as it were, lain basking in the Sunshine of Peace and Security, smiling in their Ease and defended from the Incursion of an Indian Enemy, by us as their Barriers; we on the contrary have been obliged, for the common Safety, to garrison our Frontiers and to be at the Expence of our Blood and Treasure, to secure ourselves from the Destruc­tion which even a small Number of the Indian Enemy could always spread around us; when at the same time some of these Provinces have happily felt, in a propor­tionable Degree, the good Effects of the exerting of our Strength during the Course of this War.

[Page 4]BY our Zeal and Loyalty (carried almost to a Pitch of Enthusiasm) we have not only prevented the breaking up of the Settlements of some of the more neighbouring Provinces, but we have also saved that very important Fortress of Annapolis, when on the very Brink of being surrendered to the French, who always prove the worst of Neighbours; in Peace eternally encroaching upon the Rights of Mankind, and in War not always behaving in the most generous Manner: And even at this Time, notwithstanding the most solemn Treaties, instigating the Indian Enemy to spread Murders and Desolation among the new Settlements in Nova-Scotia, when (notwithstand­ing their national Perfidy) they dare not appear as imme­diate Actors in this Scene of Villainy. Nay such an Abhorrence have even some of the Priests of their own Nation, at their late horrid Act of sending Missionaries among some of the Eastern Indian Tribes, in order to instigate them to this Cruelty, that one of them was humane enough to say, that he would not be concerned in such a Mission for all the Riches in America.

IN the beginning of the Spanish War our Expence was very great, in raising Levies for what is called the Cuba Expedition; and notwithstanding the Distance of that Island from this Province, and the little Prospect that the Success of that Expedition would immediately affect us, yet from a Principle of Loyalty, five hundred Men from this Government were embarked upon it, at no incon­siderable Charge, of which not above fifty returned.

BUT the most chargeable Expedition was that to Cape-Breton, in which we expended almost two Millions old Tenor, a Sum vastly exceeding our Ability, and which nothing but the last Extremity could excuse us the ex­pending of; an Extremity which not only very nearly affected us, but also the whole Continent besides, and in which the Trade of the English Nation both with Regard to that great Branch of it the Cod-Fishery, as also its Navigation to the Northern Colonies was deeply [Page 5] interested. In this Expedition we almost made ourselves Bankrupts, not only with Respect to Money, but also with Regard to Labour, the worst Bankruptcy that a Com­munity can suffer; for we expended some thousands of Lives, which were lost by a Mortality consequent on the surrender of Louisbourg, who were some of the Flower of the People; and whose Loss to a Country that wants Inhabitants, can be repaired neither in a short Time nor without great Charge and Difficulty.

ANOTHER Expedition in which we were at great Ex­pence, was that designed for Canada, and recommended from the Crown; and although the Scheme was not executed, yet Bounty Money and Billetting two thousand Men, could be very ill spared by a People, who were already so much drained of both Men and Money.

THIS was the late unhappy Situation of this distressed Province; whilst its remaining Inhabitants were groaning under a Burden of Taxes, which had almost sunk them into Ruin; and which they would not have been able to have supported, had not the Parliament of Great-Bri­tain, (as a Reward of our Loyalty and Services) discharged our Provincial Debt, by a Grant enabling us to sink our Paper Currency.

THIS Slavery we are redeemed from, almost instanta­neously, instead of lingring out a few unhappy Years: And to this agreeable Prospect I now chearfully turn my Eyes, and sincerely congratulate my fellow Subjects of this Province on so sudden a Transition from a State of Perplexity to a Scene opening to social Happiness, if we are not wanting to ourselves; which surely we cannot be, after so happy a Deliverance.

THE Wisdom of our Legislature in providing a salutary Method to make the Parliamentary Grant as beneficial as possible, by passing a Law to call in our bad Paper Cur­rency, is a Conduct highly to be applauded: And the [Page 6] Firmness and Resolution which the General Assembly in their last Sessions, shewed, in confirming that Law (not­withstanding the Quibbling and Chicanery of some de­signing Men to invalidate it, in order to demand Silver according to the Face of those Province Bills which they were Possessors of) is what expresses the highest Regard to the good of the Society, and what is like to have a most happy Influence on our Political and Commercial Affairs, if as steadily pursued.

IT was surprizing to see the little Arts, and to hear the Sophistry of some designing Mock Patriots, to evade the Force of this Law; but it was more affecting to see honest well meaning Persons deluded by them. The standing Argument was Oppression; that the Province could never bear so sudden a Change of its Medium, and that the Silver would be immediately shipped off; by which Means there would be no Currency to support the Trade of the Province. This looked plausible and popular, but the Veil was too thin to conceal the Artifice from the least penetrating Eye; for the proposed Effect from this Argument was, that Individuals who had for some little Time past cloistered the Paper Bills, rendering them use­less to the Community, should have that Quantity of Silver for those Bills which they were worth at the Emis­sion of them. Unhappily, a great Number of Well-wishers to their Country struck in with this Scheme and raised a popular Clamour; which had they seen through, I dare affirm they never would have done; for the ine­vitable Consequence of it would have been, the raising eight or nine hundred thousand Pounds Tax Old Tenor upon the Inhabitants of this Province; which had it been raised, I believe the Projectors of it would almost have been cursed for. This Tax we are now disburthened of, by the Firmness of some, who sincerely wished their Country's Happiness.

SUFFERERS there are and will be without the least Doubt; and this occasions some severe, unjust, and give [Page 7] me leave to say, libellous Censures on the Government: but such Persons ought to remember, that in a Commu­nity where Affairs are so unhappily complicated as they have been in ours, the general Good of that, as well as of every other Society, ought to be the first Principle of Action in each of its Individuals: and to promote the Ruin of Nine Tenths of a Community to enrich the other Tenth, is the worst Heresy in Politicks, and which no wise Go­vernment would ever be guilty of. Such Persons ought farther to consider, that it has not the least Affinity to Justice, to suffer a Number of Persons who have been so lucky, as within a few Months to have filled their Chests with Province Bills, when in so short a Time their Value is not altered one Farthing; I say, it would be even In­justice to suffer such Persons to make a Prey of the rest of the Community, by demanding two Ounces of Silver for but one Ounce Value in other Commodities, which they have so lately exchanged for those Bills.

AS I said before, real Sufferers there will be; but had this Affair been conducted agreeable to the avaritious Views of some; where there is one Sufferer now, there would then have been at least twenty. I take that Maxim to be founded on eternal Truth, viz. Salus Populi est suprema Lex, i. e, the Safety of the People is the ultimate End of Society. But I forbear enlarging here, as all the Exceptions that have been made to this Act, have been fully and sensibly answered, in a Pamphlet published last Year, entitled, A brief Account of the Rise, Progress and present State of the Paper Currency of New England.

SINCE Things are brought to this Crisis, it certainly must be the Duty of every Member of Society to pro­mote its Welfare to the utmost of its Power, and to make its Peace and Plenty flow in an even, steady Channel; which it is certainly in our Power to do, and we shall have none to blame but our selves, if our Affairs should be diverted into a wrong one.

PARTICULARLY are our Eyes turned to the General [Page 8] Assembly in their present Session; and it is to You the Fathers of our Country, that we address our selves, for it is on you more immediately that we depend for future Happiness. It is in your Power, by the Steadiness and Prudence of your Conduct in making salutary Laws, and in giving proper Encouragement to our Trade and to the Produce of our Soil, to lay the Foundation of our Wel­fare so deep, that the Envy of our Neighbours shall not be able to undermine it. Peace we are now blessed with, and if we do not make Plenty the Attendant on it, let us never murmur at Providence for what future Misfor­tunes may befall us; since our present Circumstances are such, that we have it very much in our Power to prevent them. The Conduct of Providence with Regard to our political Affairs has been too singular to be pass'd by un­observed; and it seems, that whatever Inconveniencies we have suffered by engaging in that very chargeable Expedition against Cape Breton, they are more than fully recompenced by the Destruction of a depreciating Paper Medium: and had it not been for that Expedition, per­haps we should not have so convincingly felt the wretched Detail of Vice and Misery, which always follows large Emissions of it: There has one Inconvenience always gone Hand in Hand with those large Emissions, which I believe is very little considered; and that is, the Minds of many seem to be so much debauched by it, that the Notions of Right and Wrong are quite indistinct and are excluded from other Parts of their Conduct in Life: And whatever affects the Morals of a Community ought surely to be regarded, in Proportion to the Degree in which they are so affected.

BUT besides the alteration of our Currency, many other things seem to require the closest Attention and most vi­gorous Prosecution, in order to introduce and establish the publick Happiness and Prosperity.

In the first Place, as Nature has calculated our Situa­tion for a beneficial Trade, such Trade ought to be nursed in the most tender Manner; for unless we can by good [Page 9] Economy export larger Quantities of Commodities than we import, we must necessarily be reduced to Poverty. We are now free from our Provincial Debt, and it is generally imagined by those who have examined most critically the Commerce of the Province, that upon set­tling the whole Account, the Ballance is in our Favour: But taking it for granted that we were one hundred thousand Pounds Sterling in Debt, yet it would be no great Misfortune; for we have at this Time two Mil­lions Old Tenor in Silver in the Province; and suppo­sing we should immediately discharge that one hundred thousand Pound with Part of it, yet we should have eight hundred thousand Pound Old Tenor remaining for a Me­dium amongst us, at the lowest Computation; which Sum is allowed by those who are well acquainted with the Course of our Trade, to be fully sufficient to answer all the Purposes of a Medium for it. And I think this ought to remove all Fears of the Silver's being exiled the Province; for besides the above State of the Case, there are considerable Quantities of Silver and Gold imported from the West-Indies and other Places; so that if we at last loose that which is generally agreed upon by Man­kind for a Medium of Trade and ought to be the only one with us, it will certainly be our own Faults; and the only Way which it can be lost in, is by our own Luxury and Extravagance, which if we do not retrench, and give up that Part of our Trade which indulges them, it will be in vain to attempt the retaining Silver with us; And if we had ten thousand Times as much as we now have, yet such ill Conduct would infallibly make it useless to us, and those who supplied this Luxury and Extravagance of ours would reap the Benefit of our Loss of the Silver in Exchange for their gratifying our Vice and Folly. The Case is easily reduced to Demonstration: only substitute a private Person in the Room of the Province, and let that Person be possessed of ten thousand Pound clear from all Debt, yet if that Person will expend annually the In­terest of his ten thousand Pound and one thousand Pound per Year of the Principle besides, (having no other Means of [Page 10] Support) he must certainly in the Course of a Few Years, prove a Bankrupt: On the contrary, supposing this same Person should expend the Interest of only nine thousand Pound of this Money Annually, he must necessarily add to his Estate and grow rich in a Course of Years. These supposed Facts are too plain to be denied by the most ig­norant Examiner, and this is the State of every Society. An Advantageous Trade ought therefore in every Manner to be encouraged, and a disadvantageous one by all Ways to be discouraged; what Laws may burden the former should be repealed, and any Sumptuary ones that may clog the latter be enacted. For if the Ballance upon the whole of the Trade of any Country is in its Favour, that Country must grow rich, since the Ballance in its Favour, whatever it be, must be paid in Money; on the contrary, when the Ballance of the whole Trade is against a Country, that Country, must necessarily grow Poor, as long as such Trade is carried on, till at last it becomes quite Bankrupt, at least as to the Means of carrying Trade on, viz. its Money. Nor will any Medium the Government can find at all help the Matter, this we all know has been the po­pular Argument amongst us for a long Time past, but it is as absurd and preposterous as it is popular. It is a certain and undoubted Maxim, that Trade ought to find its own Medium; and for this plain Reason, because if it be a profitable Trade, the Profit arising from it, that is the Ballance will be paid in Money, and of Consequence it will support it self without the Help of any Government Me­dium; and if it be a losing Trade, which is the only one that can stand in need of any Artificial Medium, it ought not to be encouraged, nay, not only so, but any such Me­dium will banish the intrinsick good Medium entirely away, and convert a profitable Trade into the direct con­trary.

THIS one would have thought our own past Experience would have convinced every Man of. For what End, with Regard to Trade, hath the enormous Quantities of Paper Bills, that have been issued out, served but the in­creasing [Page 11] our luxurious and extravagant Consumption of foreign Commodities, the loss of all our Money, the De­struction in a great measure of publick and private Faith, the debauching our Morals, the Encouragement of Idle­ness, and Introduction of Poverty: And this must eternally be the Case, since, as there can be no Occasion for the Go­vernment's finding a Medium, but in support of a losing Trade, the Consequence must necessarily be, that the Mo­ney will soon be gone, and as foreign Debts increase, (for increase they must as long as this Trade is carried on) there must be a greater Demand for those Things, that will an­swer in Payment, and the greater that Demand is, the dear­er those Things will be with Regard to this Government-Medium, or in other Words, this Medium must depreciate, this naturally introduces Cheating and Oppression, and brings on Luxury and Extravagance, which produces Idle­ness, and at last ends in the extreamest Poverty. Hath not this been the Case with us! Did not the Emission of Paper Money soon banish Gold and Silver from amongst us? Did not our foreign Debts continually increase till we had lost our Credit abroad? Did not the Demand for Returns to pay these Debts depreciate our Paper Me­dium till it was reduced to less than a sixth Part of its original Value? Hath not this introduced all Kinds of Cheating and Oppression, without Regard I had almost said either to publick or private Faith? Have not many Persons amassed Estates, by running first of all into, and then continuing in Debt, till they have at last by the De­preciation of the Currency paid their Creditors with three quarters or one half the Value of the Original Debt? Hath not this been the great Occasion of our re­markable and daily increasing Luxury? Hath not this been a great Discouragement to Industry, without which no Community can flourish, and a great En­couragement of Idleness, the Bane and Destruction of every Society? Have not many Persons left off their more industrious, laborious Employments in which they have been brought up, when they saw they could get a better Living in so much easier a Manner? And have [Page 12] we not been reduced to such a Degree of Poverty, that we should have been in the greatest Perplexity, had not the Parliament reimbursed us the Charge of the Louisbourg Expedition, and our own Legislature, in so wise a manner, provided for the Redemption of our Bills of Credit?

UPON the whole, we may safely conclude, that any artificial local Medium for the Support of Trade, instead of answering the good Ends pretended to be designed by it, will entirely destroy it, by driving away all Trade that is beneficial, and can support none but such as a Country had better be without; such an one, as the lon­ger it is supported, will bring us into more Debt, and involve us in greater Misery.

IT is then of the utmost Importance to give a due At­tention to the Trade and Commerce of a Country, upon which the Riches or Poverty of it depends, and of the last Necessity, to give a proper Encouragement to the raising and manufacturing those Things that it is capable of, both for its own Consumption, and for Exportation in return for what is necessarily obliged to take from others; and that there should be a sufficient Discouragement to the Consumption of all foreign unnecessary Commodities, that serve only for the feeding Luxury and gratifying Ex­travagance.

ANOTHER Article of very great Importance, is the ea­sing the Inhabitants of the Province, as much as possible, of future Taxes. In case of another War, there will in­fallibly arise new and great Charges to the Government; and consequently Individuals must pay a larger Tax to the Defence and Support of it, than they are obliged to in a Time of Peace: But during a Peace, the Scheme to pay the current Charges of the Government is so easy, practicable and obvious, that it would be surprizing if it was overlooked, According to some late Calculations, we consume annually nigh one million eight hundred thous­and Pounds Old Tenor in spirituous Liquors: so large a Sum seems almost incredible; but if the Time that is [Page 13] mispent in the Consumption of those Liquors is taken into the Calculation, I make no Doubt it is too low; but giv­ing up that large Sum, let us only take it for granted that a Million Old Tenor is annually consumed; yet the Expence even of that Sum (which I believe is vastly within the Bounds of Truth) is a Piece of Luxury that ought to be retrenched; and if it can't be retrenched, the Consumers have not the least Reason to complain of an Excise upon it; and any Person of the least Modesty who contributed to this Luxury, would be ashamed to appear publickly against such a Proposal; since the large Con­sumption of those Liquors tends to ruin our Constitutions; which is a Misfortune that not only will attend us, but reaches to our Posterity; and at the same Time produces an Habit of Idleness, which has already impoverished many Families, and is compleating the Ruin of many more. To see such a Province as this, blessed with so healthy a Climate; such a Variety of Soils calculated for the Pro­duce of almost all the Necessaries and Conveniences of Life; inhabited by a People situated under the happiest of Governments; as brave in their natural Temper as any People on Earth; I say, to see a Province under all these and many other natural Advantages consuming their Health and Estate in Luxury and Extravagance, must needs distinguish us to the rest of Mankind as guilty of the greatest Misconduct, not to apply the Remedy which courts us: But if Individuals are loth to break off their bad Habits, it is strictly incumbent on the Legisla­ture to make some Good arise out of so much Evil.

THE Excise upon Rum and other spirituous Liquors is now two Shillings Old Tenor per Gallon, and the annual Produce of this and the other Excises is twenty-three thousand Pound Old Tenor.—It is supposed that not one half of it is accounted for; now supposing the Excise should be raised to four Shillings Old Tenor per Gallon, and to be paid at the Still Head; the neat Produce of this with the Duties of Import (which ought also to be raised on what is consumed within the Province) would [Page 14] be sufficient to pay all the Charges of the Government. And in this Manner to be eased of all our publick Taxes, seems so prudent and necessary a Scheme, that a tender Regard for the good of the Province, absolutely requires it to be thought of at least.

NOW I am on this Article of Taxes, I would just ob­serve that it seems quite reasonable that a small Tax should be layed on Waste Lands. The Inhabitants of the Pro­vince are taxed for their Faculties, and why a Tract of unimproved Land, that is rising perhaps twenty per Cent per Annum should not be considered in some such Light, is difficult to distinguish.

WE have been so long burdened with Taxes, that it would reconcile the Minds of many of us to a Silver Medium, and detach us from our Fondness of a Paper Currency, if we could now have the Satisfaction, that we were for the future to be eased of our old dreaded Bur­thens. This may be done, and the Question is whether it ought not to be done?

OTHER Sumptuary Laws besides the Excise, may be necessary, that would not interfere with the Interest of our Mother Country; particularly with Respect to the Extra­vagance of Dress. The Lex Oppia among the Romans, which was made in the 540th Year of the City, ordained, that no Woman should have above half an Ounce of Gold, wear a party coloured Garment, or be carried in a Chariot in any City, Town or to any Place within a Miles Distance, unless upon the Account of celebrating some sacred Solemnity. I just mention this to shew the Care of the Roman Com­monwealth in preserving their ancient Frugality, and not to distinguish the Ladies for greater Extravagance than the Men; so far from it, that taking the whole into Con­sideration, the other Sex are vastly more inexcusable for Levity and the Folly of Dress.

DOUBTLESS, prudent Laws to regulate Extravagance, [Page 15] would have a very good Effect; but at the same Time, the Polite Part of the Society, Gentlemen of Figure and Character might by their Example effectuate it. It is what is necessary to be done, and the different Characters in Life ought to distinguish themselves in it.

ANOTHER Article which deserves Consideration, is the Improvement of our Soil. And here is such a large Field of Variety, to range in, that it requires not only Skill but Industry to cultivate it. The Art of Husbandry, however trifling it may appear, is a Subject equal to the greatest Genius; and the proper Application of such a Genius would make it vastly serviceable to any Community. Mankind are very fondly attached to the Customs of their Predecessors, and adopt them as their second Nature; and hence, by being so loth to leave the old Road, they cramp that Invention which might be very useful in Life, and from which they might reap a double Profit: So that it seems necessary in such a Country as this, for a Legislature to incourage Improvements of this Nature; by making it worth the while to deviate from such old Roads or Customs; which after they have so done renders needless any future Provisions of the same Nature: for the Interest of Mankind will be sufficient to induce them to such Practices, when they are once convinced from Ex­periment that that Interest is advanced thereby. We supply ourselves from other Governments, in a great Mea­sure, with Provisions of various Sorts, which Strangers tell us, is a Shame for us to do; and we ourselves ought to think it a Shame; for we have many different Soils, as well adapted to those Necessaries of Life as our Neigh­bours. Corn, Rye, Barley and Oats we are sure, from our own Experience, are quite easy to be raised among us; and I believe, were we as industrious as some other Nations, we should raise enough not only for our own Consumption, but also for Exportation, if required; but instead of so doing, we pay large Sums for those Commodities to some of our neighbouring Provinces. The main Difficulty is, raising of Wheat, but even as to that Article (for which [Page 16] we pay a great Ballance to others) it may doubtless be produced among ourselves; for why should not those County's especially which are contiguous to the Connec­ticut Wheat Soil be as capable of producing it as that Soil is: Surely every Argument that is urged against this important Affair must be the Effect of Indolence; for it is well known that in many Counties of this Province good Wheat has been raised to Advantage. But it seems our Wheat is subject to Smut and Mildew: And so it is in England; but pray is not England one of the most re­markable Wheat Countries in the World? Doubtless, was there a proper Bounty given for the raising it, we should soon learn so much of the Art of Husbandry, as to prevent those Smuts and Mildews with as much Ease as others do. And I am apt to think that Observation, made by a Gentleman of Discernment, is very just, viz. that Wheat is very subject to Blast in the rainy Seasons of Paper Money.

A Bounty given to the manufacturing of what Wheat we raised, into Flour, would be another prudential Method, if we would only consider how many thousand Barrels of this we yearly import into the Province.

BARLEY is an Article of great Consequence, and I ne­ver heard a Farmer that ever raised it, but would allow it was a profitable Improvement of Land. Some Lands will produce sixty Bushels an Acre; and suppose but twenty Bushels are allowed, the Thing speaks for itself: And if we should get into this Practice in general, we should not only reap the Profits of our Trouble by a Crop, but it would also introduce the Custom of drinking Malt Liquors, on which an hard Labourer in England will work and grow fat and healthy, while a lazy Labourer here, in the Use of spiritous Liquors, and of Cyder made from Fruit bad in its own Nature and rotten by Careless­ness, will grow as Meagre as his Liquor, starve his Family, and entail the Curse of a bad Constitution on his Posterity.

[Page 17]BUT what is of as great Consequence as any Kind of Produce, is the raising Hemp and Flax. There are many Tuns of Shipping built in this Province, and large Quan­tities of those Articles are used upon our Navigation; and more particularly of the former, which comes to us through several Hands, and must therefore cost us dear; whereas by proper Economy, we might not only raise enough for the Navigation of the Province, but might afford in a short Time, to ship it to our Mother Country; which would not only be an easy Way of paying for the Manufactures we depend on her for, but would also be a Saving to the Nation, in Proportion as what we shipped to England would lessen their Importation from the Nor­thern Countrys. This may perhaps look chimerical at first View; but it is a Fact capable of being proved: for in Holland or Ireland the Produce of an Acre of Hemp on good Land is one Tun, but supposing it would pro­duce here but half of a Tun; yet upon a Calculation of the Labour to raise it and dress it, and the Price it pro­duces, it will turn out a very profitable Article; besides, a great Part of the Labour may be performed in the Win­ter Season, when Labour is of less Value than in any other Part of the Year; and besides even this, a vast Deal of Labour might be saved by managing some Part of its Ma­nufacture with Waterworks. Supposing then upon the whole, that we have a Demand for our own Use, for four hundred Tuns per Year, which some think a large Calcu­lation; yet this Quantity requires, at the above Compu­tation of its Produce, no more than eight hundred Acres of Land; and will any one suggest that so many Acres suitable to raise Hemp upon, cannot be picked out of the whole Province? It is confirmed by many that have raised it, that though it was laborious to go through the whole Process of it, yet that it was at last very profitable. As to the Objection of not having Land suitable for it, it is quite idle; for it is well known, that we have very large Tracts of low Lands, which lie uncultivated notwithstand­ing their being the richest Soils we have; but the Dif­ficulty of clearing them deters many from the Work. [Page 18] Those Lands, if they were cleared (as they might be in the Winter Season when People have little else to do, ex­cepting their Attendance on the necessary and important Avocations of a Tavern) we should find to be some of our best Estates: This is a Fact, which a few Experiments have made incontestable, and to increase Experiments upon it, would make the most ample Amends.

THE same Arguments here used for raising Hemp may serve for raising Flax, which is another important Article of Produce. It is said, that the Town of Nutfield in New-Hampshire Government, manufactures into Linnen to the Amount of thirty or forty thousand Pounds Old Tenor per Year; and why the whole Province of the Massachusetts-Bay may not do something on this Head in some Proportion to the Town of Nutfield, would be very difficult to assign a good Reason for. We import such large Quantities of foreign Linnen, that a proper Degree of Emulation and Industry would save a large Ballance to the Province. Some that are always fond of Excuses for their Indolence, will say, that our Soil is not adapted to Hemp and Flax; but besides the Answer just now given to this Objection, I would beg Leave to subjoin another, viz. That we can make Soils if we cannot find them: but as this comes more properly under the Art of Husbandry, I would refer those, who are in Earnest, to the Authors who treat on this Subject, and particu­larly to the Pamphlets on Field Husbandry, which are annually published by the Rev. Mr. JARED ELIOT of Killingsworth in Connecticut, which shew so much good Sense, founded on his own and the most authentick Ex­periments, and are so peculiarly adapted to our Climate, that every Farmer ought to have them by him, and to teach them to his Children, as including in them not the least Part of the Duty which they owe to their Country.

BUT that which is of the last Importance, and must be the Foundation of all other Prosperity is, the Increase of [Page 19] our Inhabitants: And without this, the largest Tracts, best situated and most luxuriant Soil under Heaven avails no­thing. But here I am in some Measure anticipated by a well-timed prudent Resolve of the General Assembly in their last Sessions, in lending the Province Ship for the Importation, and in appropriating four Townships for the Settlement of Foreigners; a Conduct highly becoming the Paternal Care, of those, who are stiled the Fathers of their Country. When we consider the Loss of so many thousands of our best Labouring Men in the Course of a few Years past, we ought not to sit still and despair, but to repair the Misfortune as soon as possible. We see the happy Effect of such a Measure in the Province of Pen­sylvania; where so many have been imported of late Years, that their Cities, their Trade, and their Riches have increased to a prodigious Degree. Let us only con­sider that the Labour of five hundred Men, as Wages are now, will amount to fifty thousand Pound per Year Profit; and whether that Sum is not worth saving, let any judge. It is the Number of industrious Inhabitants that must en­rich a Country; it is their Number that must make the Charges of Government sit light and easy, when such Charges do arise; and it is their Number that must be the chief Defence of a Province, exposed, as we are, to the Ravages of an Enemy on an extended Frontier: Let then the Number of industrious foreign Protestants be still encouraged. In this Method we shall not only alle­viate our Loss of Men, but in all Probability the Loss of many useful Artificers, who have been taken off by the late Wars.

SOME are very fond of the Name of Posterity, and think the Introduction of Foreigners would oblige their Children to sell their Country; but if they would only be pleased to consider one Moment, that if Inhabitants were to in­crease only in a Course of Nature, how many Millions of Acres would in this Province lie uncultivated; and that their own Estates would be of little Value in this ordinary Way of Generation; whereas notwithstanding the Intro­duction [Page 20] of Foreigners, they might save as much Land for their Children as they would cultivate in many Generations; and at the same Time raise the Value of what they could conveniently spare to others; unless they will carry their Foresight to ten thousand Generations; and if they are so overprudent as this, I will allow they will want not only another Province for Posterity, but also another Continent. But I should be glad such Objectors would ask themselves, whether in Case of another French War they would not be willing to have others bear a small Part, at least, of the Burden of Military Duties, and Taxes consequent thereon.

I have gone through the several Articles I purposed to mention, tho' many other things are left untouched, and willingly leave the Consideration of them to the Friends of their Country. If any Thing of Importance has been offered, I doubt not it will have its due Weight. What­ever is disagreeable, unpopular, inaccurate or trifling, I hope will be overlooked, as the whole was designed for the Be­nefit of the Province. I was induced to mention them at this Time, as the Result of the last Session of the General Assembly is looked upon as an Earnest of much future Good, and as the Assembly is not again met: And should any of those Articles be worth their Notice, the acting their Part immediately might have the happiest In­fluence on the Prosperity of the Province. One Year saved, in our particular happy Circumstances, might pro­bably produce the most beneficial Consequences, and the Loss of a Session might be productive [...] the most unhappy.


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