1818: Discouraging to Western Emigrants

It was with no small surprise that we beheld within a few weeks past, the return of several families to our neighbourhood, who moved from here last fall to the state of Ohio. They do not give as favorable an account of that part of the country as we have heretofore been accustomed to receive, and they have determined to settle again where they have been accustomed to live at their ease, in preference to that land heretofore called, “the land of promise.” They say everything they have to purchase is very dear, money scarce and grain low. That part of the country is not well calculated to suit people who expect to pluck the roses without first clearing away the thorns. …

To corroborate the above, a gentleman last week, in this city, lately from Buffalo, stated that nearly 50 waggons and teams from the Westward with families, passed through that place on their way to New-England States, where they had emigrated from, preferring their old homes to this celebrated land of promise–here, they say, (and that truly,) whatever they raise they can turn into cash at a good market price on the spot.

There is no doubt in this opinion, and if our farmers would take the trouble of saving the manure of their Barn-yards, and making more by the compost plan, every acre of the old land, with little trouble, might be made to produce wheat in abundance, so as to make us independent of the southern States for our Flour–and by a little additional industry our young men may become an independent yeomanry.

From The Middlesex Gazette (Middletown, Conn.), Thursday, July 2, 1818.

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