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of British America are anxious to see you adopt an elevated and enlarged scheme of Colonial policy, by which relief will be given to your resources, and strength to their own. The hopes and prospects of the future will then atone for the omissions and errors of the past.
We shall feel that England is indeed our home, and you will feel that you have homes on both sides of the Atlantic. Men will go from these islands to British America, as they now go from Hampshire to Wiltshire; and thousands will return every year to tread the scenes which history hallows, or, if need be, to defend the temples where our common ancestry repose. Though we cannot afford to play at soldiers every day, as they do upon the continent, — for we prefer to handle the axe, and plough the land and sea, yet we have a Landwehr who own their muskets; who, at their own expense, could put a month's provisions upon their backs, and be here by steam, in ten days, if their sovereign required their services. But they would be undisciplined and awkward ! Perhaps so; yet full of energy and resources, they would learn as much in a week as an European serf does in a year; and when the shock of battle came, you might
“ Ask yon despots whether
Their plumed bands
Could bring such hands
I am happy to be enabled to add, sir, that the representations which it has been my duty to make to Her Majesty's government, in referenee to these subjects, have been received in the fairest possible spirit. I believe that the present Cabinet is sincerely desirous, if the practicability of the plans can be demonstrated, to relieve the burdens of this country and strengthen the North American Provinces. But I need scarcely tell you, that no administration in these islands can do any thing but what the people approve. The responsibility, in this, as in all other important measures, rests with the people. Let them assume the desire of government, and act upon it. Let them stimulate the Executive, if that is required.
Before the American Revolution, an old philosopher came over to this country, on a mission in which he failed; the government of that day treated him coldly, but he forgot to appeal to the people. I believe that if the people of this country understood the question then as they do now, much bloodshed and expenditure would have been saved. I anticipate no coldness from the government, and certainly have received nothing but courtesy and kindness from those members of it with whom I have been brought into communication. In the British people I have an abiding faith. I should regret if it were otherwise, for I have an hereditary interest in these questions. During the old times of persecution, four brothers, bearing my name, left the southern counties of England, and settled in four of the old New England states. Their descendants number thousands, and are scattered from Maine to California. My father was the only descendant of that stock who, at the Revolution, adhered to the side of England. His bones rest in the Halifax churchyard. I am his only surviving son; and, whatever the future may have in store, I want, when I stand beside his grave, to feel that I have done my best to preserve the connection he valued, that the British flag may wave above the soil in which he sleeps.
The impression produced by this speech was so favorable, that Mr. Howe was immediately invited to a banquet to be given by the Corporation in the audit house. It was attended by the priocipal citizens, including members of the town council, and other public functionaries. The proceedings were most gratifying to Nova Scotia, and highly honorable to all concerned. In proposing Mr. Howe's health, the worthy Mayor
They must all have been delighted at the lucid manner in which their honorable guest had, on the previous evening, developed his plans, and shown the advantages that would be derived therefrom to the working population of England. He hoped that he would succeed in his endeavors, and if he only succeeded in a hundredth part of what he anticipated, they would have reason to be grateful to him. He was rejoiced to have such a talented, patriotic, and worthy man as their guest that evening, and he was sure they would all drink most heartily the “health of the Hon. Mr. Howe, success to his efforts, and prosperity to the Province of Nova Scotia.” The toast was drank with every
demonstration of delight.
The Hon. Mr. Howe, who was received with renewed cheers, said that, in the North American Colonies, they were in the habit of speaking of England as their home; and if he had not found a home in Southampton, he did not know where it was. Never had he expected, except by the death of a near relative or friend, to have had his feelings stirred within him as they had been that night. He had always had faith in the people of England. He came amongst them a stranger, and already he felt as an inhabitant of Southampton. The object he had come here to advance was one on which he sought to unite all parties; one which lay at the bottom of their common Christianity — to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to people the waste places of the earth, and to make two blades of grass grow where, not one, but none grew before. He had that morning visited, in the company of their Mayor, some of their charitable institutions; and he could wish that he had some of the lads he saw in one and the females he saw in another with him in the Colony from which he came, where they would be removed from the necessities of either poverty or crime.
The Hampshire Independent thus expressed what it is but fair to assume was the state of public feeling created in the south of England by Mr. Howe's visit to Southampton :
We have much pleasure in directing the attention of our readers to the report of the meeting held at the Town Hall on Tuesday evening, which will be found in another column. A more important question than that brought before the notice of the inhabitants of Southampton on that occasion, by the Hon. Mr. Howe, has never been submitted to the consideration of the people and government of England. With the lucid reasoning, the startling facts, the profound political philosophy, and the forcible eloquence of the honorable gentleman, we shall not now deal. These are points upon which our readers may form their own opinions from the speech which we have most reluctantly been compelled to abridge, but to which we shall again and again call public attention. Our principal object now is to solicit inquiry and investigation into a question of such vital importance, not only to Southampton, but to the whole of the United Kingdom. If England and the North American Provinces can be brought within ten or twelve day's sail of each other by emigration steamships, they will not be farther apart than England and Ireland were a few years ago. This was a point strongly impressed upon the meeting by Mr. Howe, whose distinguished position as a minister, and member of the Legislature of Nova Scotia, not less than his extensive and correct information, gives weight and authority to his opinions; and if we can only induce the government and Parliament of this country to devote a sufficient sum of money annually to carry his excellent suggestions into effect, his mission to England will be followed by more important consequences than any that have occurred since Benjamin Franklin made the fruitless endeavor to repair the breach between this country and her revolted American Colonies. By encouraging emigration to our own dependencies, we secure the twofold advantage of strengthening the empire, and obtaining good customers for our manufactured goods. We should not be doing our uty if we did not express what we so sincerely feel, that the town is highly honored by the visit of Mr. Howe, and deeply indebted to our public-spirited and enterprising Chief Magistrate and the Trade Committee, for their assiduous and praiseworthy endeavors to point out to the government and the country the great natural advantages of Southampton as a port of emigration.
The period that elapsed between the presentation of his letters to Earl Grey, the delivery of this speech, and the receipt of Mr. Hawes's letter of the 10th of March, was one of mingled triumph and anxiety. That, he had distinguished himself in the estimation of the government and people of England, he had evidences on every side. The press generally applauded his eloquence, boldness, and the skill with which he had presented questions of great interest for public consideration. In the House of Lords, both Lord Monteagle and Lord Stanley called the attention of the government to the policy enunciated by Mr. Howe, and demanded to know whether they intended to entertain it, and to give the countenance of the Imperial Parliament to enterprises in which it was palpable that the mother country, as well as the Colonies, had a deep interest. In personal interviews, with which he was honored by both of those noblemen, Mr. Howe had explained his views, and we have heard him speak in very grateful terms of the frankness and courtesy with which they discussed with him the objects of his mission.
From Earl Grey and Mr. Hawes, he received the assurance that he had deeply interested the Cabinet, and that his proposi. tions were seriously entertained.
There were other persons who had become deeply interested The letters had been laid before Parliament and had found their way into the hands of Sir Morton Peto, William Jackson and Thomas Brassey, Esquires, two of whom had seats in the House of Commons. Those gentlemen saw in the noble country which Mr. Howe so eloquently described, and in the great enterprises which he advocated, a boundless field for the employment of their capital and resources as railway contractors. They put themselves immediately into communication with Mr. Howe, and became thenceforward mixed up with his subsequent negotiations, and ultimately the active promoters of the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada.
We have often heard Mr. Howe describe his feelings, triumphs and anxieties, at this period. As a Colonist, he had attracted notice and won great praise, in the highest and most intellectual circles of the mother country. He had been referred to in the handsomest terms in the House of Lords. His letters were passing from hand to hand in the House of Commons, where men of all shades of politics acknowledged the boldness and ability with which he had treated great Imperial and Colonial questions. He had directed towards the broad field of British America the keen spirit of cupidity and enterprise that led the railway world.
These were honorable achievements of which any man might be proud. They opened for Mr. Howe the mansions of the great, won for him kindness and hospitality that he has ever gratefully remembered, and gave him the opportunity to observe the inner life of all circles of English society. But amidst the splendor and excitement of the great metropolis, he thought most of home; of the rebound from the great country in whose interests he was toiling; of the joy which his success, if he should succeed, would diffuse among the attached friends he had left behind him.
The winter of 1851, was one of intense political excitement in the mother country. The Whig majority was restless and unsteady, and the conservatives pressed the government night after night with question or debate in either House of Parliament. On the 14th of February, Mr. Howe wrote to the deputy Secretary, " The incessant occupation of the leading members of the government, in discussions which involved the whole policy of the country, has precluded the possibility of their giving to the Colonial questions in which we feel an interest, the consideration which would be indispensable to the defence of large guarantees or expenditures, in Parliament.”
On the night of the 21st of February, Lord John Russell moved an adjournment, and on the following day the ministry