― v ―


IT may prevent those inquiries that would be naturally made by the public, respecting the manner in which the author acquired the information contained in this work, when he states that he was born in the colony of New South Wales, and that he resided there for about five years since his arrival at the age of maturity. This is a period which will, at least, be allowed to have been sufficient for acquiring a correct knowledge of its state and government, and for enabling him to observe the destructive tendency of those measures, of which it has been his endeavour to demonstrate the injustice and impolicy, and to procure the

  ― vi ―
speedy repeal. He would not, however, have it concluded that the present work has been the result of mature and systematic reflection; it is, on the contrary, a hasty production, which originated in the casual suggestions of an acquaintance, and which was never contemplated by him, during his long residence in the colony. He has consequently been obliged not only to omit giving a detail of many interesting facts, with which he might have become acquainted previously to his departure, but has also been under the necessity of relying in a great measure on the fidelity of his memory for the accuracy of many of those circumstances which he has stated: still he is not without hope, that five years attentive observation will have enabled him to communicate many particulars, of which, in the absence of abler works on the same subject, most of the inhabitants of this country cannot but be ignorant, and many must wish to be apprized.

His only aim in obtruding this hasty production on the public, is to promote the welfare and prosperity of the country which gave him

  ― vii ―
birth; and he has judged that he could in no way so effectually contribute his mite towards the accomplishment of this end, as by attempting to divert from the United States of America to its shores, some part of that vast tide of emigration, which is at present flowing thither from all parts of Europe. In furtherance, therefore, of this design, he has described the superior advantages of climate and soil possessed by this colony; he has explained the causes why these natural superiorities have not yet been productive of those beneficial consequences which might have been expected from them; he has pointed out the arguments which offer for the abandonment of the present system, and the substitution of another in its place; and by adducing, in fine, what he considers to be irrefragable proofs of the expediency, merely as it regards the parent country, of adopting the measures which he has proposed, he hopes that he shall eventually occasion an alteration of polity, by which both the parties concerned will be equally benefited. He has not, however, presumed on a contingency which it is thus reasonable to believe cannot be either doubtful

  ― viii ―
or remote; but has restricted himself to an enumeration of the inducements to emigration which exist under actual circumstances; and, by comparing them with the advantages which those writers, who have given the most favourable accounts of the United States, have represented them as possessing, he has proved that this colony, labouring as it is under all the discouragements of an arbitrary and impolitic government, has still a great and decided preponderancy in the balance. How much this preponderancy will be increased, whenever the changes and modifications which he has ventured to suggest, shall be in whole, or in part carried into effect, he has left to all such as are desirous of emigrating, to form their own estimate; and to decide also how much longer a system so highly burdensome to the parent country, and so radically defective in its principles and operation, is likely to be tolerated. To all those, who are of opinion with him that it cannot be of much longer duration, the inducements for giving this colony the preference will become so weighty, as scarcely to admit of the possibility that they should hesitate for

  ― ix ―
a moment in their choice between the two countries.

If, in the course of this work, he has spoken in terms of unqualified reprobation of the baneful system to which the unhappy place of his nativity has been the victim, he would have it distinctly understood, that it has been furthest from his thoughts to connect the censure which he has bestowed on it, with those who have permitted its continuance. He is too deeply impressed with a sense of the arduous and momentous nature of the contest which they have had to conduct, not to allow that it was justly entitled to their first and chief attention. Our whole colonial system, in fact, he considers to have been but a mere under plot in the great drama that was acting. It could not, therefore, be reasonably expected that the grievances of any one colony should become the subject of minute and particular investigation; and still less could it be imagined that the government should convert their attention to the relief of one, which has comparatively excited but a small share of public interest, and

  ― x ―
has hitherto been considered more in the light of a prison, than of what he has endeavoured to prove it might be rendered,—one of the most useful and valuable appendages of the empire. This apology, however, for the neglect which the colony has experienced during the war, cannot be pleaded in vindication of a perseverance in the same impolitic and oppressive course in time of peace. Nor is it to be wondered at, as upwards of three years have now elapsed since the consolidation of the tranquillity of the world, that the colonists should begin to feel indignant at the continuance of disabilities, for the abrogation of which the most powerful considerations of justice and expediency have been urged in vain. To remove such just grounds for dissatisfaction and complaint, and to allow them, at length, the enjoyment of those rights and privileges, of which they ought never to have been debarred, would, at best, be but a poor compensation for an impeded agriculture and languishing commerce; but it is the only one that can now be offered; and, although it cannot repair the wide ravages which so many years of unmerited and

  ― xi ―
absurd restrictions have occasioned, it may arrest the progress of desolation, and prevent any further increase to the numbers who have already sunk beneath the pressure of an overwhelming system. It is, therefore, to be hoped that the cause of humanity will no longer be outraged by unnecessary delay, and that the only atonement, which can be made the colonists for their past and present sufferings, will no longer be withheld.

The author is fully aware that, in the course of this work, he has developed no new principle of political economy, and that he has only travelled in the broad beaten path in which hundreds have journeyed before him. For troubling, therefore, the public with a repetition of principles, of which the truth is so generally known and acknowledged, the only plea he can urge in his justification is a hope that the reiteration of them will not be deemed unnecessary and obtrusive, so long as their application is incomplete; so long as vice and misery prevail in any part of the world, from the want of their adoption and enforcement.