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POOR IN HAMBURGH,
THE YEARS 1788 AND 1794.
IN A LETTER
SOME FRIENDS OF THE POOR
IN GREAT BRITAIN.
BY BARON VON VOGHT.
PUBLISHED IN 1796.
NOW RE-PUBLISHED BY PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR.
The little Work, now reprinted, bears evidence of the humanity as well as of the profound political wisdom of its Author; and it is confidently offered to the public, in the hope that, under the present circumstances of the United Kingdom, its principles may be not only examined, but approved, disseminated, and acted upon, to their utmost extent: how far the particular practices in regard to Works of Industry may be usefully adopted, it is difficult to determine; but “where there is a will, there is a way :" local habits and circumstances must be the guides.
RIGHT HON. GEORGE ROSE, M. P.
A COPY of the following work, published in 1796, was put into the hands of a Gentleman, who, at a parish meeting, had forcibly stated the injurious consequences from offering subsistence independent of labor, and the policy and true charity of providing some employment for the distressed poor. The pamphlet contained such evidence of the benevolence and profound political wisdom of its Author, and so much valuable information founded on experience, that we were satisfied we could not render a more essential benefit to society, at the present crisis, than by reprinting and circulating it. Through the medium of Messrs. D. H. & I. A. Rucker and Co. a letter has been received from Baron Von Voght, dated Flotberg (near Altona), 7 Feb. 1817, which has assured us of his free permission to republish the work; and that his observations in various countries, during a period of more than twenty years, on the interesting subject of the guardianship of the poor, had invariably confirmed the correctness of the opinions and regulations which it contains.
We are anxious, on the present occasion, to offer this interesting work to the public under the sanction of your name, as an acknowledgment of the high sense we entertain of your exertions to improve the condition of the laboring classes.
The noble and intelligent Author has pointed out in the clearest manner, some of the causes which have tended to increase
pauperism in this country, even at a period of unprecedented demand for labor; and the inevitable consequences of departing from that principle of sound policy on which our poor laws are founded, "that employment, and not alms, should be given to those who have the ability to work, however small that ability may be." Situation and circumstances must determine the mode of employ. ment; But the principle should be invariably adhered to; and no labor should be considered as unprofitable, that preserves the laborers in habits of industry. Some legislative measure may be required to give permanence to any system adopted upon the principles here recommended; and to accomplish an effectual superintendance, perhaps a division of the large and populous parishes will appear the most obvious and practical method. By extending the present system of education, and the establishment of provident institutions, religion, morality, and industry, will then unite to ameliorate the condition of the lower orders of society, and thereby prevent crimes and consequent misery.
19 Ju meiset toif
INSTITUTIONS AT HAMBURGH,
EMPLOYMENT AND SUPPORT OF THE POOR.
In a Letter to some Friends in England.
DURING a residence of sixteen months in your happy island, where a long-enjoyed security of person and property has called forth, in all fanks, the incalculable powers of human industry, and where domestic comfort rewards every exertion, from the philosopher's study down to the laborer's thatch, such a mass of powers produced, and of happiness enjoyed, strongly attracted all my attention. I admired the daily wonders of industry, the animated exertions of public spirit, and that unbounded active benevolence, become so habitual among you, that you yourselves are hardly conscious of its extent. To each of you, my respectable friends, I have been obliged individually for that information. I was so forcibly led to desire: It was you that conducted me to your hospitals, work-houses, Magdalen-houses, and your new prisons, all monuments of British sensibility.
In our conversation on these subjects, I often mentioned the success of our endeavours in Hamburgh in suppressing beggary, encouraging industry, restoring health, and promoting morality, among a numerous class of poor.
You seemed all to think, that in England some consequences of the existing poor-laws made it difficult to obtain these advantages in a degree adequate to the large sums expended: that the right which a poor family has, of living at last at the expense of the parish, encouraged careless idleness: that the annual rotation of Overseers, and the want of a uniform system in the distribution of different kinds of support, and of a general plan for making it concur in promoting the morality, and consequently the happiness of the supported class, demanded some alteration in the manage