Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/175

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facilitate the formation of such settlements, and diminish the hardships of the first free settlers, if the government were to prepare the way for settlers of this kind by convict labour. Agricultural emigrants from Great Britain and Ireland would be apt to sink into despondency, if they found, on arriving in the colony, with the prospect of being speedily established in towns and agricultural settlements, that they had to form their town out of a dense forest, and to cut down whole acres of hard timber ere they could turn up a rood of land. But if the site of the future town should be duly ascertained, surveyed, and cleared; if streets should be laid out and formed, and a few buildings of permanent utility to the colonial government erected; if roads should be constructed to the more important localities in its immediate neighbourhood, and suitable tracts of land divided into small farms, having each a certain proportion of its whole extent cleared by convict labour, previous to its occupation; an agricultural settlement might be formed by a free emigrant population imported from the mother country—from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, for instance,—and a town established at once. And if both town allotments and farms of this kind should be let at a moderate rental for a certain term of years to the first occupants, with liberty to purchase at