Page:American History Told by Contemporaries, v2.djvu/94

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
66
[1698
Middle Colonies

kind) to seek out a new hazardous, and careful one in a Foreign Wilderness or Desart Countrey, wholly destitute of Christian Inhabitants, and even to arrive at which, they must pass over a vast Ocean, expos'd to some Dangers, and not a few Inconveniencies : But now all those Cares, Fears and Hazards are vanished, for the Countrey is pretty well Peopled, and very much Improv'd, and will be more every Day, now the Dove is return'd with the Olive-branch of Peace in her Mouth.

I must needs say, even the Present Encouragements are very great and inviting, for Poor People (both Men and Women) of all kinds, can here get three times the Wages for their Labour they can in England or Wales. I shall instance in a few, which may serve ; nay, and will hold in all the rest. The first was a Black-Smith, (my next Neighbour) who him self and one Negro Man he had, got Fifty Shillings in one Day, by working up a Hundred Pound Weight of Iron, which at Six Pence per Pound (and that is the common Price in that Countrey) amounts to that Summ. . . .

. . . Felt-Makers will have for their Hats Seven Shillings a piece, such as may be bought in England for Two Shillings a piece ; yet they buy their Wooll commonly for Twelve or Fifteen Pence per Pound. And as to the Glaziers, they will have Five Pence a Quarry for their Glass. The Rule for the Coopers I have almost forgot ; but this I can affirm of some who went from Bristol, (as their Neighbours report) that could hardly get their Livelihoods there, are now reckon'd in Pensilvania, by a modest Computation to be worth some Hundreds, (if not Thousands) of Pounds. The Bakers make as White Bread as any in London, and as for their Rule, it is the same in all Parts of the World that I have been in. . . .

Of Lawyers and Physicians I shall say nothing, because this Countrey is very Peaceable and Healty ; long may it so continue and never have occasion for the Tongue of the one, nor the Pen of the other, both equally destructive to Mens Estates and Lives ; besides forsooth, they, Hang-Man like, have a License to Murder and make Mischief. Labouring-Men have commonly here, between 14 and 15 Pounds a Year, and their Meat, Drink, Washing and Lodging ; and by the Day their Wages is generally between Eighteen Pence and Half a Crown, and Diet also ; But in Harvest they have usually between Three and Four Shilling each Day, and Diet. The Maid Servants Wages is commonly betwixt Six and Ten Pounds per Annum, with very good Accommodation. And for the Women who get their Livelihood by their own Industry, their Labour