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From the archive, 20 March 1850: Letter From America: Westw

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:39 pm    Post subject: From the archive, 20 March 1850: Letter From America: Westw Reply with quote

div class="track"img alt="" src="" width="1" height="1" //divp class="standfirst"Originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 20 March 1850: Now a word to my countrymen who intend emigrating. Consider the subject well./ppTo the Editor of the Manchester /Galena, Illinois, February 7th, 1850./ppWe are on the Mississippi, slowly breasting its mighty current to St Louis, passing every little while the rude cabin of some venturous back woodsman, or the snug villages of the early French settlers; but what a different aspect do those villages present to the go-a-head city of St. Louis, now emphatically the city of the west. Half a century ago, St. Louis was one of those little quiet French villages; now it numbers some 70,000 souls. How mighty the change! And it is only yet in its infancy; what it will be, time alone will show. I am partial to St. Louis; it is the only city in the United States where I feel myself perfectly at home. A great many crimes have been committed within its limits, it is true; but a peaceable, law-abiding man can live there as securely as in "Old Mancunium."br /When I left St. Louis, I did so in company with a large number of newly arrived English emigrants; on questioning them, I found they were converts to Mormonism, and were on their way to the Mormon camp at Council Bluffs, 750 miles north-west of St. Louis, intending to proceed from that point in spring, to the "New Jerusalem" of Mormonism at the Salt Lake desert; poor deluded victims of a miserable imposture! how I pitied them. Many of them even then were without means, and some 2,000 miles from their destination, had probably sold their all, given up home, with all its associations, and their religion, with all its holy consolations, in pursuit of a wretched phantom. But what do those scoundrels deserve who made them their dupes? no punishment is too great for them. Mormonism is only kept alive by English importations, the shameful excesses committed by its supporters here, have opened men's eyes to its practised impositions. I speak that I do know, when I say that there never was a man who joined them who did not become morally debased by the connection. Social ties are broken, and all those endearing relations which have their origin in purity and love, are for ever banished. Must my countrymen be the only dupes of a villainous imposture?br /Now a word to my countrymen who intend emigrating. Consider the subject well. Are you farmers? If you have capital, you cannot come to a better spot than the west; if you have not, stay at home: you had better starve among friends than strangers. Are you factory operatives, pining for the "free and open prairies of the far west!" as you are told so glibly by hired demagogues. Stay where you are, if you are wise; here, you would in all probability be worse off than you are. You can have the "mighty forests" and the "open prairies" to roam in it is true, but the mighty forests will not protect you from the chilling blasts of a long and dreary winter, or the open prairies feed the bellies of your starving family unless you possess capital to render them available. Are you clerks, bookkeepers, or shopmen? Don't emigrate under any circumstances. You cannot succeed at all, or only by an absolute miracle. I have seen hundreds of young men, of the class just named, ready to starve. The supply of native clerks is as much in excess as in England. What chance, then, has a stranger?br /The only subject of excitement in the west is California; every little town is preparing to send forth its band of hardy adventurers; and the overland emigration of this year will exceed that of last. And yet the accounts are by no means favourable, on the whole, the success attending mining operations being anything but general; but everybody is going to "try." People are not satisfied here with getting along slowly - they want to be rich; but the majority of those who go will, I am afraid, come back poorer than they went, if indeed they ever live to come back at all./pp—I am, sir, respectfully yours,/ppA Manchester Man./pdiv class="related" style="float: left; margin-right: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"ullia href=""US immigration/a/lilia href=""Mormonism/a/lilia href=""US economy/a/li/ul/divbr/div class="terms"a href="" copy; 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our a href=",,933909,00.html"Terms Conditions/a | a href=""More Feeds/a/divp style="clear:both" /
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