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From the Rev. J. MACALLUM, of the Church of England, to BENJAMIN HARRISON, Esq.
• RED RIVER, August 3, 1848.
« MY DEAR SIR,
Although I have no letters to acknowledge, and nothing of importance to communicate, yet I cannot permit the express to depart without conveying a few lines to you. Long habit has rendered this not only an agreeable, but a necessary duty, for the mind is never at rest until it is discharged. Besides I know the deep interest you take in the moral and religious condition of the Colony,-I know that every item of intelligence, bearing on this point, is read with satisfaction ; and ill it would become me, whom you have so long distinguished with your attention, to omit any opportunity of contributing his little to the information you derive from other
* You will be pleased to learn that the past year presents much to excite our gratitude and thankfulness. The law has been respected; the ordinances of religion have been observed ; peace has been unbroken; health has been uninterrupted; and notwithstanding the failure of the crops, few have suffered from scarcity of provisions. What in other countries would almost upset the existing order of things, an almost entire failure of the harvest has quite an opposite effect here,-it renders men sober, industrious, careful, docile, and orderly. The plains, you are aware, are always accessible, and the produce of the chase, together with the production of the lakes, if economised, effectually protect from the pressure of scarcity. Some, no doubt, experienced privation, but they are uniformly the thoughtless, the prodigal, the reckless,
,-men that in Europe would either starve, or fill the gaols. No steady, industrious man, ever wants the means of existence in Red River.
· The weather this season has been remarkably propitious. The crops look well; and if it please the Almighty to protect them from mildew and frost, the produce will be much above average. Never, at least never during my residence in the country, was this more to be desired. Few, if any, of the colonists have been able to preserve any seed wheat, so that should our hopes be again disappointed, should a third failure take place, the effects would be felt for years to come.
* The schools are likely to remain in the same state as during the preceding year, there being neither increase nor decrease. This, in one respect, is fortunate ; in another quite the reverse ; for unless young men, when qualified, are admitted into the service, parents will have no inducement to educate their offspring. Here, as everywhere else, men must be actuated by some motive before they incur the expense attendant on education; and the main, if not the only motive, that operates in Rupert's Land, is admission into the service. Take away this motive- let young men, after a course of education, be permitted to lie on hand, or compelled to handle the oar, and the inevitable consequence will be, the consignment of the rising generation to ignorance and all its evils. sincerely trust there will be an opening next year for two or three youths, who have now been a considerable time at school, and who, there is every
reason to hope, will duly appreciate any favour conferred upon them. It is true that Isbister's conduct is sufficient, and more than sufficient, to prejudice the minds of their best friends, and to throw many obstacles in the way of their introduction into the service; but it is to be hoped that the ingratitude of one, and that one merely the tool of another unconnected with the service, will not close the only door that has hitherto been open to the youth of Hudson's Bay.
• The young Ladies' School has considerably declined, in consequence, I believe, of a native being governess. Miss M-Kenzie is a highly talented young lady, maintains excellent discipline, and is most successful as a teacher; but no amount of merit can counterbalance the misfortune of her birth. Of course I pay no attention to groundless prejudice. When a young lady is qualified for the situation she holds,—when she bears an unsullied reputation, and efficiently discharges the duties of her office, it matters little to me to what country she belongs: she confers honour upon any.
• There are two Mission Schools in the Upper District, which I superintend. The one contains 75 children, the other about 40; and in both about 150 young people are instructed, on the Lord's Day, in the principles of divine truth. These are our nurseries wherein we rear plants to supply the places of the old, the decayed, and the falling.
* Mr. Cockran's health continues good, but he seems undecided whether he shall permanently remain in this country. Mr. James, I regret to say, is far from being strong; the heat of our climate oppresses and enervates him. Should he be under the necessity of returning home, his absence will be a public loss, for he is a truly pious and devoted young man.
My own health, thank God, is quite re-established, so that I am now as fit for duty as on the day I first planted my foot on American ground. May my future life evince my gratitude to the Giver of every good and perfect gift.
· The Bibles, Testaments, &c., which you kindly sent out, have been of immense service. Some were disposed of at a low price, but the greater number was given away. I forward, in return, an order on the Company for £.5, which you will oblige me by handing over to the “Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge." Should the Society, on your recommendation, be disposed to send us a few more, I shall have much pleasure in giving them circulation, and in forwarding the proceeds.
* Accept my kind thanks for the file of newspapers you senol me annually.
• Mrs. M. unites in affectionate regards to you and yours. That the blessings of the Most High may rest upon you, and that you may long be permitted to exercise a salutary influence on the moral and social condition of Rupert's Land, is the earnest desire of,
My dear Sir,
• Yours most sincerely,
'BENJ. HARRISON, Esq.'
SHORTLY WILL BE PUBLISHED,
THE HISTORY OF THE BRITISH COLONIES
ASIA, AUSTRAL-ASIA, AMERICA, NORTH AND SOUTH, THE
(Revised and Enlarged,) Containing the history, geography, physical aspect,-mountains, rivers, and lakes,-climate, geology, animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms, --chief cities, towns, fortresses, and havens,-population, white and coloured, character and manners,-state of religion, education, and crime,-form of government, laws, municipal and local institutions,— the press,-agriculture, manufactures, mines, and fisheries,—staple products, live stock, cultivated and waste lands,-revenue, income and expenditure, colonial and imperial,-custom duties and regulations, commerce,—imports and exports, shipping,-military and naval defences,—banks, coins, weights and measures, value of moveable and immoveable property,-rates of wages, prices of provisions, rent of houses and lands,- public companies,--and useful information for capitalists and for emigrants. The work will be issued in successive volumes on the First of every
Month, with a Map of each Colony.
II. South Australia, Western and Northern Australia.
V. Cape of Good Hope and Natal.
Coast Castle, Accra, Dix Cove, Annamaboe, St.
Helena, and Ascension.
Edward Island, and Newfoundland.
Montserrat, St. Christopher, Nevis, Anguilla, Tortola
America, North. South. West India Islands.
XVI. Bengal, Agra, and the North West Provinces.
XX. Sincapore, Penang, Malacca, Labuan, and Hong-Kong.
Paxo, Cerigo, and Santa Maura.
Government. General Statistics. The British Colonial Empire is without a parallel in the history of the world. It includes an area of two million square miles, (irespective of 3,000,000 square miles in the Hudson's Bay Company's territories), containing some of the richest islands, the most fertile plains, the strongest fortresses, and the finest havens, in every quarter of the globe. It abounds in every product which can minister to comfort and wealth: -sugar, coffee, cocoa, tea, cinnamon, peppers, spices, silk, cotton, indigo, arrack, rum, rice, mahogany, teak, timber, fruits, cautchouc, gums, dyes, and drugs, are the products of our possessions in Asia, the West Indies, and South America ;-corn, timber, tar, fish, oil, flax, furs, coal, and iron, of our Northern American Colonies ;-wool, tallow, hides, grain, meat, wine, brandy, oil, aloes, hemp, ivory, gold dust, wood, coal, and copper, of our Australian and African territories ;olive oil, currants, wine, and silk, of our European settlements.
In this vast transmarine empire there are more than one hundred million subjects of the British Crown, of varied colour, creed, and character,--speaking divers languages, -and under different forms of government, where the distinction of free and bond no longer exists.
To a small and insulated kingdom like England, Colonies are of vital importance; if deprived of them she would be reduced, in territorial extent, to the condition of a fifth rate European power,-her dominion of the seas would pass away,-her most valuable, because most remunerative, maritime commerce would be lost,—a rapidly increasing population, unable to find food or employment within the United Kingdom, would transfer their industry and intelligence to foreign and rival countries,-or they would inevitably cause revolution and ruin at home.
On the prosperity and extension of the British Colonies dependunder Divine Providence-the peace, the progress, and the perpetuity of a wonderful empire; which has its strongholds in every corner of the earth ; which possesses naval and military resources unrivalled ; which builds its strength, humanly speaking, on freedom-personal, political, religious, and commercial; and which uses its power, wealth, and influence, for the benefit of mankind.