Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/198

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184

TRANSPORTATION

contract with the free settler of the description above-mentioned, having ten acres of cleared land on his forty or fifty acre farm, for the clearing of an additional portion at the usual price per acre. He would be able also to contract for fencing, cutting posts and rails, and putting them up, and for the erection of barns or other out-buildings. He would be able to earn an honest livelihood by manufacturing and selling shingles, trenails, sawn or split timber to the settlers or to the masters of coasting vessels.[1] In short, after six or eight years' apprenticeship, the convict would become a useful labourer of the class most wanted in agricultural districts in a new country; or, if he preferred hiring himself as an agricultural labourer, he would be sure to find a ready demand for his labour among the free settlers. At the same time, being debarred from spending the profits of his labour at the public-house, on the supposition of an entire prohibition of the importation or manufacture of ardent spirits, he would be rescued from that gulf of perdition into which the ticket of leave holder, or emancipated convict, in the present settlements of New South Wales, almost uni-

  1. These operations might be combined with the clearing of land by the government, and might thus be made, especially in a district rapidly settling, to contribute considerably towards the maintenance of the convicts.