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Their next step was to begin to subdue the forest, and turn it into fruitful fields. Long and wearisome years of toil lay before them before this could be acomplished; but, nothing daunted, they went to work. The process of clearing was now begun. Each man cut down the huge trees on a few acres the first summer. These trees were cut into logs of a size convenient to be drawn by oxen into piles. These were then set on fire and suf. fered to consume. The surface of these few acres was thus cleared of the trees which had stood for centuries upon it; leaving only the stumps sticking up about four feet high. A strong man would clear, in this manner, perhaps ten acres the first season.
In the autumn this land was sown with wheat, in which grass seed was mixed. Thus was the first summer spent, and winter came. During the winter more trees were cut down, to be got
ready to be burnt in the sumAt last the spring came. In March they began to make maple-sugar, the very first thing their land had yielded them in the way of eatables. They now bored auger-holes in the sugar-maple trees, and putting small wooden spouts in the holes, they caught the sap which fell in small rude troughs, cut out of blocks of wood. This was boiled and made into sugar, a great luxury indeed for them all.
By-and-by the snow entirely disappeared. The wheat they had sown on their newly cleared land was found to be in a vigorous, thrifty state, and they rejoiced as none but a pioneer emigrant can rejoice, in seeing these pledges of future success. The summer now wore on. The har. vest came, and they gathered in a rich crop of wheat from land which, but a short year before, they had seen covered by a thick forest. The grass seed which had been sown with the wheat now struggled up among the wheat stubble, giving pledge that another year it would
furnish hay for the cattle they hoped by that time to have.
They had thus lived through the first, and usually the worst year of a settler's life. They had endured many hardships, it is true, and the little means they brought with them were hardly sufficient to furnish them with the coarsest fare in the mean time. But the wheat they had raised, together with a hog or two, which each family had managed to raise, gave them a good stock of food to last till another harvest.
Thus they kept on in their hard toil, till year after year they enlarged their clearing, and, in time, they brought the whole under cultivation. Their comforts also in
creased year by year. Their families grew more numerous a real blessing in such circumstances; their road became tolerably fair, cross-roads intersected it, a schoolhouse was got up, a preacher occasionally came in of a Sunday, and everything really thrived.
At the present time this settlement is really a desirable place of residence. Almost all the original settlers, whose history we have been rudely tracing, occupy the lands they first entered upon. Good frame and stone houses and barns have taken the places of the rude log ones. Their lands are all paid for, and scarcely a man of them but has money out upon interest. Their sons and daughters have intermarried. Healthy and happy grand-children gather apples and plums from trees which stand where once the forest stood, and you might search the world over and not find a healthier, happier, better population than this.
We have been thus tedious in this detail, from the fact that this is a fair sample of the success which attends that class of emigrants in the United States. In a future work for the use of emigrants, we shall present other illustrations of this sort.
We repeat, therefore, that the emigrant should take courage, and amid all his sea-sickness and home-sickness, and other discomforts of the voyage, look forward to brighter days.
Mode of cooking at sea. How to form convenient messes. Hiring the ship's cook. Cleanliness. How to secure it. Beds and bedding should be aired. The quarter-deck a privileged place. Respect to be paid by the passengers to the captain and mates. Never ask the captain about the latitude and longitude, &c. &c. Never speak to the man at the helm. Emigrants will do well to help work ship. Health of passengers at sea. What to do if sick. Children suffer from looseness of bowels. How to cure it. The ship's medicine chest. Accidents at sea. The captains generally quite good surgeons. Cases in illustration of this. Children often born at sea. Hints to females expecting such an event. Medical men frequently are on board as passengers. Etc. etc. etc.
THE Cooking of his food will be to the steerage passenger the source of great annoyance. So soon as the seasickness is well over, a prodigious appetite will take its place; and he will begin to look out for something eatable.
If the emigrant has attended to the suggestions in the preceding chapters, he will have laid in those kinds of provision which require the least cooking possible. But, if he shall have a long passage, a good deal of cooking, of one kind and another, will have to be done.
If your fellow-passengers are such that you would like to make up a small mess among them, it will be wellLittle messes, composed of three or four individuals, (or more, if it be desired by the parties,) are found a very good way of getting along with eating matters. For instance, let a few friends agree to form such a mess. Let each put in his share of potatoes, meat, flour, and the like, say every two days, or every day, as may be convenient; and let them take turns in cooking; or fix on
some one of the number to attend to it all the time, making him some compensation for his services.
There would be economy in this course, for a person who should do the cooking all the time would get his hand in, and would make many a little saving, which a person unaccustomed to the work would not think of. It would insure greater regularity in the hour for meals, and better cooking, too. Besides this, it would be more social than for each individual to live by himself. And among those composing a mess, there would probably be a greater variety of eatables than each alone would have.
It will not do, of course, to form such messes with everybody; but passengers will soon find out with whom it is safe and pleasant to mess.
There is another plan, and a good one it is, too; namely:-to pay the ship's cook to do your cooking. On board the larger ships there is usually a second cook, who undertakes such work, if desired. A small fee, say a dollar or two, (four to eight shillings sterling) will secure his services for the whole voyage. We would recommend this plan to those who do not form messes; and even the messes would do well to employ the ship's cook. Families, especially, should do so.
To those who wish to live by themselves, and do their own cooking, no special directions are necessary, other than those given in a preceding chapter. One day's observation will let them into the secret of the matter, and give them a better knowledge of the process than any description we could give.
Cleanliness is essential to the health and comfort of steerage passengers, and should be particularly attended to. It is the custom on board of well-regulated ships, for the chief mate to see that the passengers wash out the steerage twice a week, or oftener. This is a rule of