Page:Transportation and colonization.djvu/80

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.



pated convict, to obtain his livelihood by honest industry, in clearing and cultivating land, or in the service or employment of reputable freemen, instead of living a life of idleness and luxurious indulgence, or preying like a horse-leech upon society, as a publican or general dealer. It would have given the requisite encouragement and protection to the really reformed emancipated convict, by confirming him, on the one hand, in his returning attachment to the pursuits and pleasures of honest industry, and by rescuing him, on the other, from the fangs of the publicans and dealers of his own class and order. It would have relieved several successive governors of the colony from the mortifying and humiliating necessity of purchasing the patronage of men who owed their own lives to the lenity of the laws, and of whose thorough reformation there was no evidence but their acquisition of wealth, in order to secure an adequate counterpoise to the weight and influence of a few individuals, whom they fancied opposed to their legitimate authority. It would have kept the convicts and emancipated convicts in their proper place in the social system, and saved the colony from the evil consequences that have already resulted from the growth and ascendancy of a class in colonial society, distinguished by the name of