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pulsion, carry with them a lasting remembrance of the cause. I have been told by intelligent officers, who served in Canada during the last war, that they found the Highland emigrants more fierce in their animosity against the mother country than even the native Americans. By weakening the principle of loyalty and love of country among a people hitherto distinguished for both, but who now impute part of their grievances to the Government which does not (perhaps cannot) protect them, the interests of the State are affected, and a fund of hostility created, if I may so express myself, against the occurrence of some season of difficulty and trial, when Government will in vain look for aid from those men whose minds are rankling with the remembrance of recent injuries, and whose spirits are broken by an accumulation of actual and irritating evils. *
sons attainted succeeded to an estate of considerable extent. Government, with a kindness that might have been imitated to advantage, removed few of the tacksmen, " kindly tenants," and followers of the old families. When the tenants of this gentleman found the descendant of their venerated chiefs in possession of the inheritance of his ancestors, they immediately surrendered their leases, doubled the rents upon themselves, and took new ones for a term shorter by ten years than that which was yet to run of the King's leases; in order, as they said, that the man whose presence among them had diffused so much happiness, might sooner be enabled to avail himself of the price of produce, which they saw annually increasing, and raise his rents accordingly. This was in 1783, nearly forty years after the whole power of the chiefs, except over the minds and affections of the people, had ceased. This is one of many instances that show how long those honourable traits of character continued, and the importance of such disinterested and generous attachment.
• How different the feelings of those are who emigrate voluntarily, may be seen by the following instance. A near relation of mine had been an indulgent landlord to a numerous tenantry. By his kind treatment, many of them became rich, at least they believed themselves rich, and wished to get their farms enlarged. Their landlord explained to them that he could not do this without injustice to others. They saw the force of this reasoning; but, still anxious to enlarge their possessions, resolved to emigrate to a country where they could, without injustice, accomplish their wishes; and they accordingly gave up their farms and embarked for America. Having the command of money, one detachment purchased a tract of land on the banks of the Hudson river, equal in fertility to any in tie United States; others purchased in different parts of the Union. By their labour they cleared a considerable portion of land. It is now upwards of thirty years since the first detachment emigrated; but, so far are they from entertaining a spirit of hostility towards this country, that they cherish the kindest feelings towards their ancient homes, and the families of their ancient lairds; their new possessions are named after their former farms, and their children and grand-children are named after the sons and daughters of their laird; and so loyal were they to the king and government of this country, that, to avoid serving against them in the late war several emigrated from the States to Canada, where the young men entered the Royal Militia and Fencibles. Such are the consequences of considerate treatment, and of voluntary emigration.
These emigrants, with all their endearing recollections of the past, have excited the sympathy of the muse, and poetry has been called in to interest us in their fate; but, in this case, truth is better than fiction *. Dr Robertson in his Report for the County of Inverness, says, « Some of the chieftains themselves have given the death-blow to chieftain-ship : they have cut the cords of affection which tied their followers and their tribes, and yet they complain of the defection of their tribes, which, with their eyes open, they have driven from them *." Those who respect the feelings of a whole people may mourn over the breaking of those cords which bound together in affectionate duty and esteem the different orders of Highland society; and, while a change of management and improved cultivation were not only necessary, but indispensable, may regret that, to attain them, it has been found necessary to occasion such a revolution as has, in many cases, taken place, by the abrupt and unanticipated adoption of such measures as, without time or opportunity afforded for guarding against the convulsive shock, have been productive of the most violent changes, and proved subversive of all former habits and modes of living.
* In the Emigrant, by the late Honourable Henry Erskine, he describes the feelings of an old Highlander on quitting his native country for Arms
"Farewell, farewell, dear Caledonia's strand,
Thou dear companion of my happier life,
"But, ah! sad change! those blessed days are o'er,
"For thee, insatiate chief, whose ruthless hand
"Feed on, my flocks,—my harmless people, feed,
Then casting many a lingering look behind,
• See Report to the Board of Agriculture.
Smuggling—Consequences of reducing the Highlanders from the condition of small tenantry—Policy of retaining an agricultural population.
I Must now advert to a cause which contributes to demoralize the Highlanders in a manner equally rapid and lamentable. Smuggling has grown to an alarming extent, and, if not checked, will undermine the best principles of the people; for let them be habituated to falsehood, fraud and perjury in one line of life, and they will soon learn to extend these vices to all their actions. This traffic operates like a secret poison on all their moral feelings. They are the more readily betrayed into it, as, though acute and ingenious in regard to all that comes within the scope of their observation, they do not comprehend the nature or purpose of imposts levied on the produce of the soil, nor have they any distinct idea that the practice of smuggling is attended with disgrace or turpitude. Their excuse for engaging in such a traffic, is, that its aid is necessary to enable them to pay their rents and taxes; —an allegation which supposes that these demands require the open violation of the law, by practices at once destructive of health and good morals, and affords a lamentable instance of the state to which they find themselves reduced. As a contrast to the discontents against Government which prevail in the South on political subjects, and on Reform, it deserves to be mentioned, that in the North, annual parliaments, universal suffrage, and the whole catalogue of political grievances, are never thought of. There the severity and intricacy of the Excise laws, which render them equally difficult to be understood or obeyed, conjoined with the conduct of individual proprietors, form the theme of their complaints. The delicate situation in which landlords are placed, when sitting as magistrates on Excise courts, and inflicting penalties for smuggling, has a strong influence on the minds of their tenants, who complain that they cannot dispose of their produce, or pay their rents, without the aid of this forbidden traffic; and it is difficult to persuade them that gentlemen are sincere in their attempts to suppress it practice without which, as it is asserted, their incomes could not be paid, in a country where legal distillation is in a manner prohibited. How powerfully this appearance of inconsistency contributes to affect the esteem and respect of tenants for their landlords, must be sufficiently evident
vOL. I. N
By act of Parliament, the Highland district was marked out by a definite line, extending along the southern base of the Grampians, within which all distillation of spirits was prohibited from stills of less than 500 gallons. It is evident that this law was a complete interdict, as a still of this magnitude would consume more than the disposable grain in the most extensive county within this newly drawn and imaginary boundary; nor could fuel be obtained for such an establishment, without an expence which the commodity could not possibly bear. The sale, too, of the spirits produced was circumscribed within the same line, and thus the market which alone could have supported the manufacture was entirely cut off. The quantity of grain raised in many districts, in consequence of recent agricultural improvements, greatly exceeds the consumption; but the inferior quality of this grain, and the great expense of carrying it to the Lowland distillers, who, by a ready market, and the command of fuel, can more easily accommodate themselves to this law, renders it impracticable for the farmers to dispose of their gram in any manner adequate to pay rents equal to the real value of their farms, subject as they are to the many drawbacks of uncertain climate, uneven surface, distance from market and scarcity of fuel. Thus no alternative remained but that of having recourse to illicit distillation, or absolute ruin, by the breach of their engagements