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“On the Improvement and Settlement of Lands in the United States,” mid-1790s. - James Wilson, Collected Works of James Wilson, vol. 1 
Collected Works of James Wilson, edited by Kermit L. Hall and Mark David Hall, with an Introduction by Kermit L. Hall, and a Bibliographical Essay by Mark David Hall, collected by Maynard Garrison (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2007). Vol. 1.
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“On the Improvement and Settlement of Lands in the United States,” mid-1790s.
Wilson penned the following plan in the mid-1790s. Two handwritten versions are contained in the Wilson notebooks at the Free Library of Philadelphia. The following text comes from a handwritten copy found in Benjamin Rush’s papers at the Library Company of Philadelphia.
In the United States there is an immense Quantity of Land, rich, well-situated and in a salubrious Climate. This Land lies useless and unimproved from the Want of Labour and Capital and Stock.
In Europe there is an Abundance of Labour and Capital and Stock; but rich and well-situated Land cannot be obtained, unless at a very high Price.
A Plan, by which the surplus Labour and Stock and Capital of Europe would be employed on the unimproved Lands of the United States, must be eminently advantageous to both.
It might be carried on to an Extent, and with a Degree of Certainty and System unknown to Transactions of any other Kind: And the Profits of it would be greater than those, which could be expected from any continued Series of mercantile Speculations—even those to the Indies not excepted.
Another Consideration, which highly recommends this Plan, is, that it would be greatly conducive to the Freedom, Ease, Independence and Happiness of those employed in its Execution.
The Extent of the Plan may be measured by the Millions of Acres, which could be furnished by the United States; and by the Millions of Men and of Money which could be furnished by Europe.
From the present Situation and Prospect of Affairs in that Part of the Globe, there is the strongest Reason to conclude, that the Numbers of Men and the Quantity of unemployed Money will rapidly encrease.
Adapted to this Situation and this Prospect in Europe are the Situation and the Prospect in the United States.
We have formed and now enjoy a Constitution, excellent in its Organization, and still more excellent in its diffusive Principles.
One Quality, for which it deserves the Attention and Attachment of those, who wish to come and reside among us, is this—the Nature of our Government is so contrived as to expand in just and accurate Proportion to the Settlement of the Country.
New Accessions of Inhabitants run no Risque of becoming the distant, the neglected, the unprotected, the despised or the oppressed Appendages of old Governments. As new Settlements are made and encreased, new States will be formed and established. Those new States will, according to their Numbers, enjoy every Degree of Advantage and Importance, which is enjoyed by the most ancient States in the Union.
If the Encrease of the new Settlements shall be rapid and uniform; many generous Souls in Europe, who are now depressed by the extrinsic Advantages, which others enjoy on Account of their Birth and Interest and not of their Talents and Virtues, may, in the Course of a few Years—much fewer than is generally imagined—fill the first Offices in the States, which they shall have contributed to found and form. By a natural Gradation, they may be raised to Places of great Dignity and Consequence in the extended and the growing Government of the United States. In this Manner, they may acquire a just Importance, which will enable them to behold with perfect Equality, perhaps, with conscious Superiority, those, who now treat them with undeserved Severity, or with supercilious Contempt.
The late Instances of Vermont and Kentucky, and, indeed, the whole Genius of our public Policy, and the most obvious Considerations of public Interest prove that every Encouragement will be given to the Settlement, the Establishment and the Prosperity of new Governments.
Not only those, who aspire after the more elevated Ranks of Life, but those also, who, with humbler Views, wish to provide and to secure the Blessings of Liberty, Plenty and Independence, will have those Views fully accomplished by settling under the free Constitution, and on the rich Lands of the United States. Those Blessings they will be able to provide and to secure not only for themselves, but likewise for their Posterity through a long Succession of Ages.
Let us suppose that an European can purchase Lands of good Quality in the United States at the Price of NA for each Acre. If he possesses Skill in Agriculture, and can command sufficient Capital and Labour and Stock; it is, by no Means, an unreasonable Calculation, that, at the End of eight Years, he may, after maintaining his Family in Comfort and Plenty, replace all the Capital, which he has expended; carry off a Stock of Cattle larger than that, which he, at first, furnished; and sell his Land at eight Times the Price, which he paid for it.
The Expence and Labour of clearing Land is often represented as grievous and almost unsurmountable. It is true, that they are great: But it is equally true, that a Tract of Land, covered with Timber, can, in less Time, with less Expence, and with more intermediate Advantage, be converted into a valuable and highly-cultivated Farm, than the waste naked Lands in Europe can be so converted.
Waste and naked Lands are generally poor and barren: Lands covered with Timber and annually meliorated by the Falling of the Leaves are generally rich and fertile. Their Surface presents a Stratum of Virgin Soil; and what is, at first, considered as a mighty Obstacle in the Way of Improvement is found, on Trial, to render that Improvement easy and rapid.
The Timber, that formidable Object to an ignorant or a weak handed Settler, becomes, in the Hands of one, who knows what he should do, and who can do what he knows, A Source of Ease, Wealth and Pleasure.
This Timber furnishes him, at an easy Rate, with Fences, and with his Materials for Building, and for the Utensils of Farming. What is more than sufficient for those Purposes may be reduced to Ashes. The Ashes will produce Pot and Pearl Ash, which, in many Places, will re-imburse all the Expences of clearing and fencing the Land. After the Pot and Pearl Ash are made, the refuse Ashes are still an excellent Manure for quickening and strengthening Vegetation.
If the Planter feels a Taste for the Ornaments as well as an Attachment to the Profits of Agriculture; his Taste may be completely gratified by selecting the Spots and Fields proper for being cleared and cultivated, and blending them judiciously with those, which should be left in their natural and unimproved State.
Even a Farm ornée may be planted and completed with less Expence, with greater Profit, and much more speedily n the Wilderness of America, than it can be done in the smooth and unvariegated Plains of Europe.
What has been said of one Settlement, of one Improvement and of one Farm may, with the same Propriety, be said of Millions of Settlements and Improvements and Farms.
Indeed it may be said with more Propriety: For every preceding Settlement, Improvement and Farm prepares the Way for those, which shall succeed: And every subsequent Settlement, Improvement and Farm bestows an additional Value upon those, which have preceded it.
By this pleasing and profitable Arrangement of Things, the Skill and Labour and Capital of every Settler are employed not only in producing Emolument to himself, but also in diffusing Benefits to all around him, to all who have gone before him, and to all who shall come after him.
During every successive Season, the surplus Grain and Stock and Labour, which can be spared from the Plantations, whose Culture has been carried to a considerable Height, will be wanted in those Plantations, whose Improvement is just begun.
A constant Market will thus be regularly opened and regularly supplied; and the alternate Vicissitudes of Want and excessive Plenty will be equally unknown. Every Thing produced will find a sufficient Demand for its Consumption; and every Demand for Consumption will find Produce in sufficient Quantities to supply it.
The reciprocal and encreasing Advantages of progressive and extending Settlements may be carried to a Height and with a Degree of Rapidity not easily conceived.
Many on the Frontiers of this Country have witnessed much on this Subject. They have seen, however, but little, compared with what would be seen on a proper Union of the Labour and Capitals of Europe with the fertile and unimproved Soil of America.
But notwithstanding all the Advantages, which I have mentioned, there are many Objections, which will arise in the Minds, and have Influence upon the Conduct of those, who meditate an Emigration to America—especially of those, who are married and have Families.
The Fatigue, the Inconveniencies and the Danger of a long Voyage are all Objects of a very uninviting Nature. The Prospect of them will make an Impression, peculiarly deep, upon one, who has a Wife, and young Children, for the Delicacy of whose Age and Sex he tenderly feels.
The Vessel may [be] insufficient: The Commander may be hard-hearted: The Accommodations on Board may be bad: The Season may be unfavourable: The Provisions may be of an ordinary Kind: The Water may be scarce: An improper Number of Passengers may be crowded together: Sickness and infectious Disorders may be the Consequence. From all, or many, or some, or even one of these Circumstances great Distress may be the Lot of those, whose Years or Constitution render them very unfit to encounter it.
Even if all these Difficulties should, in Imagination, be surmounted, others behind them will still appear in View, and spread an obscure and comfortless Scene before the doubting Emigrant.
When he and his Family shall be landed in a strange and distant Country, he will have no Friend or Acquaintance, on whom he can rely for immediate Aid or Advice or Information.
Some Time must elapse before he can come to a Determination concerning that Part of the country, on which he shall fix for his Residence. During this Time, his Family must be maintained, perhaps at a high Rate in a City.
When, at last, he shall be obliged to move towards the Place, on which, after much Hesitation and Uncertainty, his Choice has happened to fall, he will find no previous Preparations made for the Convenience of his Wife and Children, during the Journey. To purchase, at its Commencement, every Thing necessary for carrying them comfortable to its Conclusion will be intolerably expensive: To hire Things occasionally, as he shall stand in Need of them, will be absolutely impracticable.
Under these Circumstances, a Journey of some hundred Miles by Land will appear little less formidable than a Voyage of some thousand Miles by Sea: And the Impression made by each will be strengthened by the Impression made by the other.
He will next look forward to what is likely to be his Situation, when both his Voyage and his Journey shall, after many Embarrassments, at last, receive a Termination.
Incumbered with his Family and Servants, he will arrive at the Spot, of which he has made Choice—if it can be called a Choice, when he has had no satisfactory Information concerning the Object, on which it has fallen. He will find, perhaps, in the Neighbourhood, twenty others, to which he would have given the Preference, had he seen any just Account or Description of them.
On this Spot, degraded as it is by a Comparison with others, he has neither House nor Home. Where shall he find a Place for his Wife and Children?—How, in a frontier or unsettled Country, and, perhaps, at an unfavourable Season of the Year, shall he provide for them, till he can build a House, and raise the Means of their Subsistance on the Land, which he has purchased?
I have represented him as making the Supposition, that he would bring his Servants, as well as his Wife and Children, with him. On a closer Inspection, however, he will be apt to doubt whether this will be the Case.
Unforeseen Delays, unforeseen Expenses, unforeseen Difficulties may have such an unfortunate Effect in draining his Funds, as to lay him under the Necessity of parting with his Domestics, on whose Labour and Assistance he proposed to lay the Foundation of his future Improvements and Prosperity.
The Consequence of such a Situation would be—and he would perceive it in Prospect—that, at the melancholy Conclusion of his Adventure, he would find himself totally disabled from pursuing the Principle, on which it was originally undertaken—that of uniting the Land in America with the Capital and Labour brought from Europe. He would have the Land, indeed; but the Capital and the Sources of Labour would be gone.
Those, who are forced by dire Necessity, or impelled by resistless Ambition, weight not distant Consequences. But on those, whose Condition of Life is tolerably easy, though they indulge the natural Wish to improve it, the remotest Chance of being thrown into a Situation of such accumulated Distress as has been mentioned, will have a powerful Effect in preventing the first, but irrevocable Steps, which, by a Possibility, may lead to a Catastrophe, so dismal.
It is, however, by those of this Description, that the Settlement of a new Country can be expected to be made on the best Terms, with the greatest Expedition, and with the largest Share of private and public Felicity.
To such, an easy and secure Plan, by which an Emigration from Europe to the United States can be begun, carried on and completed, and by which the Ends of an Emigration can certainly and successfully be accomplished, would be a Present of the most valuable and acceptable Kind.
Those, who could devise and execute such a Plan, would perform a most precious Service to Individuals and to Society; and would merit a rich Compensation for their Exertions and Labours.
Of such a Plan I attempt the Outlines. Much Consideration and even EXPERIENCE will be requisite to bring all its Parts to full Perfection.
The Land-Office of the United States will soon be opened for the Disposal of a most extensive Territory.
The Country proposed for the general Scene of Operations should be viewed and examined. Large and well-situated, well-selected and well-located Tracts should be accurately surveyed, and purchased on the Terms offered by the Public.
The best Parts of those Tracts should be subdivided into Surveys of one, two or three hundred Acres each.
Correct Descriptions, representing the Lands to be neither better nor worse than in Truth, they are, should be carefully made.
The Draughts and Maps and Titles should be completed in a Manner, the most clear, regular and satisfactory.
All this must be done on this Side of the Atlantic. But to do all this with Ease and Security, and on a Scale sufficiently large, good Connexions must be formed, and ample Funds must be provided on the other Side of the Atlantic.
The first Axiom in this Plan is—never to be in Want of Money.
To Capitalists Inducements should be offered, sufficient to determine them to take such a Share in the Business as shall be agreed on, and to advance Proportions of the necessary Funds.
Those Capitalists should be allowed a reasonable Proportion of the Lands purchas’d, or of their net Proceeds; and a very handsome Commission on the Land, which they shall sell, and for which they shall receive Payment in Europe.
They should also be allowed a Share of the Profits of Passage-Money, arising from Vessels fitted out by them.
This last Proportion ought to be very great; and, indeed, the strongest Reason, which occurs to me, why they should not have the Whole is, that, by attempting to gain too much on the Passage of Emigrants, they might injure the more material Objects proposed, here, by the Emigration. An Interest in the Passage-Money would entitle to a Voice in its Rate, and in the proper Accommodation and Treatment of the Passengers.
The Lands purchased in the United States should be mortgaged for the Sums advanced to execute the Plan. The Money paid, in Europe, by Purchasers should be applied, in the first Place, to the Discharge of those Sums. The Surplus should be deposited at the Order of those on this and on the other Side of the Atlantic, in just Proportions.
The European Directors in this Plan should be Men of known and established Character as well as Property—such as will attract and deserve the Confidence of those, who propose to emigrate with their Families and nearest Connexions.
The Vessels employed in this Service should be strong and good and sea-worthy in every Respect: They should sail well: They should be fitted out in the most complete Manner: They should be abundantly supplied with every Thing necessary and comfortable: They should be under the Command of Officers distinguished by their Humanity as well as by their nautical Abilities.
When the Emigrants arrive in the United States, they should be immediately provided with proper Accommodations on Shore.
So soon as they are refreshed from the Fatigues of the Voyage, they should be conducted in a cheap and convenient Manner, and by easy Stages, to the Place of their Destination.
On their Arrival at the Land, which they have purchased, they should find, for their Use, a House already built, a Garden already made, an Orchard already planted, a Portion of Land already cleared, and Grain already growing or reaped. For all these Conveniencies they should pay at a reasonable Rate.
They should have the Opportunity of purchasing Stock as near as possible to the Place of their Residence; that the Trouble and Expence of driving them a long Distance may be avoided.
When such Arrangements are made, and known to be made from the Commencement, through the Progress and to the very Conclusion of an Emigration from Europe to the United States, those, who wish to improve their own Situation and that of their Children, will view such an Emigration in a Light very different from that, in which, hitherto, it has been generally considered. The Obstacles will appear to be smoothed; the Dangers and Difficulties will evanish; and the happy Issue of the Adventure will rise in pleasing Prospect before the Adventurer.
The same inviting Circumstances, which induce one, will induce many to embark in the Enterprise. The Consequence will be, that a Number of Families, acquainted and connected with one another, may emigrate from the same Place, at the same Time, in the same Vessel, to the same Neighbourhood in the United States; and may gain for themselves and secure for their Posterity the Possession and Inheritance of Liberty, Property, Plenty and Independence, without having been obliged to sacrifice, for a single Moment, the Comforts of Life or Society in making the important Acquisition.
I have already intimated that Attention should be paid to the Characters of those, who are to take a Share of this Business in Europe. Much, I think, will depend on this Circumstance. When a Man himself and his Wife and Children, as well as his Property, are to be staked on the Issue of an Enterprise, he will be peculiarly solicitous concerning the Character of those, to whom he commits the Charge of such an important Deposit. Confidence must be the Soul of a Plan so enlarged and so interesting as this is.
The Ports in Europe, at which the Embarkations should take Place, are Objects, which should be wisely and judiciously selected. I would propose Amsterdam for the United and Austrian Netherlands, for the Southern and Western Parts of Germany, and for the Eastern and Northern Parts of France. For Ireland I would propose Dublin, Cork, Belfast, Londonderry and Limerick.
To fix upon a healthy Climate and convenient Situation; and to select and secure Tracts of Land peculiarly fertile, are Points of vast Importance to the Success of this Plan.
The last Points, in particular, will require much Information and much practical Knowledge both in the Direction and in the Execution; in examining and surveying the Country; and in superintending the Proceedings in the Land Office from the first Commencement, through the whole Progress, to the Conclusion of the Titles.
Good Land and a good Title are, with Emigrants, prevailing Inducements in Favour of any particular Spot. The utmost Care should, for this Reason, be employed to lay the surest Foundations of those Inducements, in Fact and in Law.
Persons of undoubted Integrity and Industry, well acquainted with the Woods, good Judges of Land, and Proficients in practical Surveying should be employed in proper Districts, and under proper Instructions, to reconnoitre the Country and make Locations of Land.
Much might be said upon the Subject of their Instructions; but, at present, it is unnecessary. Two Conditions, however, should be indispensable—that they should not be interested in a single Foot of Land in the District proposed to be surveyed—and that, while they shall be engaged in this Business, they shall make no Surveys or Locations for others, nor communicate to others Information for making Surveys or Locations.
This Business of examining the Country and making Locations in the proper Places and the proper Manner will be very expensive, and will be attended with much Trouble; but I conceive it to be essential to the Advantage, to the Success, and to the Reputation of the Plan.
The general Situations, which would first attract my Attention, are those to the Westward and Northward of Pennsylvania, on the Southern and Western Shores of Lake Erie, and on the River Miami, which falls into that Lake.
I have always thought that the most ELIGIBLE (and under this Epithet I comprise many different Views of the Subject) Communication between the Eastern and Western Territory of the United States is by the Rivers Delaware and Susquehannah and Lake Erie and the other great Lakes.
I enter not, now, upon the Reasons of this Opinion; but I would act upon it.
The Situations, which I have mentioned, are all contiguous to this great and eligible Line of Communication; and contain according to particular Information in my Possession, Tracts of Land highly valuable indeed, especially on the Western Shore of Lake Erie and the Rout to Detroit.
The Situations on the River Miami are attended with another Advantage, of great Service in the Accomplishment of the general Plan. They lead to the River Wabash, which falls into the Ohio; to the River Illinois, which falls into the Mississippi; and to the River St Joseph, which falls into Lake Michigan.
It now appears what a vast Prospect opens upon us.
The Climate of this long Line of Communication is not less inviting than the Situation and the Soil. The Country is in the same Latitudes with the States of Massachussets, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. By every Information we are led to believe, that the Severity of Heat in Summer and of Cold in Winter decreases in Proportion as Progress is made to the Westward. This will become the Case more and more, as the Country shall be more and more improved.
Many Reasons, public as well as private, satisfy me, after long and deliberate Reflexion on the Subject, that it will be the Interest of the United States as well as of Individuals to pursue the Settlement of Farms and the Establishment of States in the Direction of the great Line, which I have described.
In a great political View, it will be found to be the Line of Union and the Line of Strength. But I cannot, at this Time, expatiate upon this immense Object. It is sufficient for the present Purpose, that this Line is recommended by the Salubrity of the Climate, the Convenience of the Situation, and the Fertility of the Soil, through which it extends.
Connected with this Line, there is another, which richly deserves Attention—the Line from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi by the Fox and the Ouisconsing Rivers. By this Communication there is only one Portage—and that one Portage is only of three Miles—from the Mississippi to the Eastern End of Lake Erie. It lies through a Country described by the latest and best Accounts to be very rich and very level; and it is said to lead directly to the most valuable and extensive Scene of Fur Trade, which can be found in America—that on the Head Waters of the Mississippi, and on the Waters to the Westward and Northward of it.
It may seem surprising, that I have taken no Notice of the Country immediately on the Northern Banks of the Ohio; nor of that lying between it and the Southern Boundary of the United States.
The Truth is, that I do not think those Countries, as to Situation, or Climate, to be on a Footing of Equality with those other Countries, which I have pointed out.
The Soil of the former is, indeed, equally rich with that of the latter; but the Climate is less healthy; and the Communication with the Atlantic and its Waters is not so convenient, nor is it likely to be so permanent.
If, however, farther and more minute Enquiry and Information should lead to a contrary Conclusion; there is evidently Nothing in what I point out, which will prevent such Conclusion from being adopted and pursued, either separately, or jointly with what I propose.
This Plan, it is obvious, is uncommonly extensive: But the Inference should not be made, that it is, therefore, extravagant. The very Extent may sometimes aid the Execution of a System. With Regard to the present one, this, I believe, will, on Reflexion and Experience, be found to be the Case.
There are some Parts of it, which are of peculiar Importance, and, for this Reason, will deserve peculiar and repeated Consideration—I mean those, which relate to the Safety, the Convenience and the Cheapness of the Voyage by Sea; and the Journey by Land—and those, which relate to the Goodness of the Lands, the Improvements begun upon them, and the Validity of the Titles, by which they are held.
On that Part, which relates to the Safety, the Convenience and the Cheapness of a Voyage from Europe to the United States, it is unnecessary for me to be particular.
I shall only hint, in Connexion with the Voyages, that Masts and Spars, long Ship-Plank, Lumber of the most valuable Kinds, Pot and Pearl Ash, ground Bark and the Essence of Bark for Dyers and Tanners, Biscuit finer than what is generally used, and Beef and Pork of superior Quality and excellently cured might, perhaps, be improved into Articles for profitable Return-Cargoes.
With Regard to the Journey by Land, I suggest the following Remarks.
When the best and nearest Rout shall be once ascertained, it will be proper, so soon as possible, to rent or purchase a Chain of Houses and Farms at convenient Distances for Stages along the whole Line of Communication. The first of these Stages should be established at the Place where the Passengers shall land. There they ought to find every Thing conducing to their Refreshment after their Voyage; and every Thing necessary to accommodate them in setting out on their Journey.
At the End of about ten Miles they should find another Stage and suitable Accommodations.
In this Manner, they should proceed from Stage to Stage, till their Arrival at the Lands destined for their Settlement.
Along this Line, and especially towards the Western End of it, they should find, at reasonable Prices, a Supply of Horses, Oxen, Cows, Sheep, Hogs and Poultry, all of the best Breeds; and farming Utensils of the best Kinds and Construction.
The Establishment of this Line of Stages would be very expensive at first: But the rising Value of the Plantations, which ought to be larger and larger as we advance westward; the gradual Increase of the Stock and Improvements on them; and the constant Market for every Thing, which they could produce, would, in a short Time, be Sources of great Profit to the Proprietors, as well as of great Convenience to the Emigrants.
I cannot insist too much upon the Propriety and Importance of small Improvements being made on the different Places of Settlement, before the Emigrants shall respectively arrive at them. These Improvements, though small, are every Thing to a new Settler. His Family will derive great Resource from even a Patch of Potatoes, Carrots, Turnips, Cabbages and other Vegetables. Instead of losing his Time, and wasting the scanty Remains of his Stock in Cash in searching and procuring the necessary Sustenance of his Family, he has the Satisfaction to find the Means of Subsistance provided for him on the most easy Terms, and placed within his Reach.
At first, those Improvements will require very considerable Advances in Money: But the Lands, on which they shall be made, will be an ample Security for the Re-imbursement of the Sums advanced; and, after the first Series of Settlements shall be made, those in every preceding Series will find their Account in making for others, Improvements similar to those, which were made for themselves, and in receiving, after a short Interval, the Return of a Sum equal to that, which they have previously been obliged to expend.
No Expence or Pains ought to be spared in examining, surveying and laying off the Lands with the utmost Fairness and Correctness; and in obtaining in order to be able to give a just Account of their Quality and Situation, and of the Timber growing upon them.
Correctness and Candour in this Part of the Business will diffuse Certainty and Satisfaction over all its succeeding Stages.
Though a large Tract may be obtained at the Land Office by one Purchase, and though to complete the Title to the Land purchased, it may be sufficient to comprehend the whole Tract in a single Survey; yet, for the Execution of this Plan, it will be absolutely necessary that the best Parts of the large Tract be accurately subdivided, and not merely upon Paper, into Surveys of one, two or three hundred Acres each, whose Boundaries should be regularly and distinctly marked.
This will prevent Confusion and Contention in the future Settlement and Improvement of the Farms. It will also put it in the Power of the Proprietors to offer for Sale only such Surveys as can be recommended on the best and most sufficient Foundation.
The Surveyors should be scrupulously exact and minute in making Notes, as they go along, of the Nature and Kinds and Qualities of the Soil and Timber; and also of every other Circumstance, which can throw Light upon the Subject.
By tracing and comparing those Notes, taken at short Distances and in every Direction, one, without seeing the Tract, may be able to form a very adequate Judgment concerning the Value and Situation of the Land; and to reject or postpone the Purchase of such as shall be of an inferior Quality.
The particular Steps proper and requisite for completing and authenticating the Titles and Title-Deeds it is unnecessary to enumerate here.
Every third Survey should be reserved, by Lot, for the Proprietors. This Measure will be eligible for many Reasons.
1. It is obvious that it will be profitable; as it will secure to the Proprietors an Interest in that Value, which Land, even uncultivated, will gradually acquire from the Cultivation of the Country around it.
2. It will enable them to exhibit, in particular Places, the most instructive Examples of every Species of agricultural Improvement.
3. It will stimulate them to make the strongest Exertions in promoting every Plan which can accelerate the Growth and Value of the Settlements, and the Prosperity and Happiness of the Settlers.
4. If any Survey, purchased by a Settler, should unexpectedly happen to be much inferior, in Quality or Value, to what it is represented to be; the Proprietors can, on just Terms, exchange it for another in the Neighbourhood.
5. A similar Exchange can be made, if the Title to any particular Survey should turn out to be invalid or even doubtful.
6. If a Settler should feel a partial or a well-founded Preference for a reserved Survey; he may obtain it at a reasonable Price, or may exchange it, on reasonable Terms, in the Place of that, which he has already purchased. This will encrease greatly the Choice among the particular Surveys, and the Pleasure resulting from Judgment, from Taste, or even from Caprice in making that Choice.
7. It will be in the Power of the Proprietors to lease, at easy and advantageous Rates, Farms to those, who shall have come out on Contracts of Service, and shall have honestly performed the Conditions of their Contracts. An easy and advantageous Lease will naturally pave the Way to a Purchase; and, thus, the most beneficial Prospects will be opened even to those, who possess Nothing but their own Labour and honest Industry.
This I deem to be of the last Importance to the general Utility and Vigour of the System.
I have said, that the Extent of a System may sometimes aid its Execution; and have expressed my Opinion, that the Remark is applicable to the present Plan. Of this I adduce one Illustration. From its very Extent, the Plan will obviously admit of an handsome Compensation to all, who shall be employed in its several Parts. The Compensation will be not only handsome, but permanent and encreasing. A Compensation, handsome, permanent and encreasing, will command a Choice of Characters, well recommended by their Integrity and their Skill. Characters, so recommended, will engage the Confidence of every one, whose Interest can be affected by their Conduct. This Confidence will operate as a powerful Motive for taking an Interest in a System, which will be thus skilfully and honestly carried into Execution.