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ually crept northward - one county after another yielding to the change. To a certain extent, as it progressed northward, the demand for labor in the great towns absorbed the surplus population; but when it came into the extreme Highlands, this refuge was wanting. Emigration to America now became the resource ; and the surplus population were induced to this by means such as the Colonization Society now recommends and approves for promoting emigration to Liberia.
The first farm that was so formed on the Sutherland estate was in 1806. The great change was made in 1811-12, and completed in 1819–20.
The Sutherland estates are in the most northern portion of Scotland. The distance of this district from the more advanced parts of the kingdom, the total want of roads, the unfrequent communication by sea, and the want of towns, made it necessary to adopt a different course in regard to the location of the Sutherland population from that which circumstances had provided in other parts of Scotland, where they had been removed from the bleak and uncultivable mountains. They had lots given them near the sea, or in more fertile spots, where, by labor and industry, they might maintain themselves. They had two years allowed them for preparing for the change, without payment of rent. Timber for their houses was given, and many other facilities for assisting their change.
The general agent of the Sutherland estate is Mr. Loch. In a speech of this gentleman in the House of Commons, on the second reading of the Scotch poor-law bill, June 12, 1845, he states the following fact with regard to the management of the Sutherland estate during this period, from 1811 to 1833, which certainly can speak for itself: “I can state as from fact that, from 1811 to 1833, not ono sixpence of rent has been received from that county, but, on the contrary, there has been sent there, for the benefit and improvement of the people, a sum exceeding sixty thousand pounds."
Mr. Loch goes on in the same speech to say, “There is no set of people more industrious than the people of Sutherland. Thirty years since they were engaged in illegal distillation to a very great extent; at the present moment there is not, I believe, an illegal still in the county. Their morals have improved as those habits have been abandoned ; and they have added many hundreds, I believe thousands, of acres to the land in cultivation since they were placed upon the shore.
“ Previous to that change to which I have referred, they exported very few cattle, and hardly any thing else. They were, also, every now and then, exposed to all the difficulties of extreme famine. In the years 1812-13, and 1816–17, so great was the misery that it was necessary to send down oatmeal for their supply to the amount of nine thousand pounds, and that was given to the people. But, since industrious habits were introduced, and they were settled within reach of fishing, no such calamity has overtaken them. Their condition was then so low that they were obliged to bleed their cattle, during the winter, and mix the blood with the remnant of meal they had, in order to save them from starvation.
“Since then the country has improved so much that the fish, in particular, which they exported, in 1815, from one village alone, Helmsdale, (which, previous to 1811, did not exist,) amounted to five thousand three hundred and eighteen barrels of herring, and in 1844 thirty-seven thousand five hundred and ninety-four barrels, giving employment to about three thousand nine hundred people. This extends over the whole of the county, in which fifty-six thousand barrels were cured.
“Do not let me be supposed to say that there are not cases requiring attention : it must be so in a large population ; but there can be no means taken by a landlord, or by those under him, that are not bestowed
that tenantry. “ It has been said that the contribution by the heritor (the duke) to one kirk session for the poor was but six pounds. Now, in the eight parishes which are called Sutherland proper, the amount of the contribution of the Duke of Sutherland to the kirk session is forty-two pounds a year. That is a very small sum, but that sum merely is so given because the landlord thinks that he can distribute his charity in a more beneficial manner to the people ; and the amount of charity which he gives — and which, I may say, is settled on them, for it is given regularly - is above four hundred and fifty pounds a year.
" Therefore the statements that have been made, so far from being correct, are in every way an exaggeration of what is the fact. No portion of the kingdom has advanced in prosperity so much; and if the honorable member (Mr. S. Crawford) will go down there, I will give him every facility for seeing the state of the people, and he shall judge with his own eyes whether my representation be not correct. I could go through a great many other particulars, but I will not trouble the house now with them. The statements I have made are accurate, and I am quite ready to prove them in any way that is necessary.”
This same Mr. Loch has published a pamphlet, in which he has traced out the effects of the system pursued on the Sutherland estate, in many very important particulars. It appears from this that previously to 1811 the people were generally sub-tenants to middle men, who exacted high rents, and also various perquisites, such as the delivery of poultry and eggs, giving so many days' labor in harvest time, cutting and carrying peat and stones for building.
Since 1811 the people have become immediate tenants, at a greatly diminished rate of rent, and released from all these exactions. For instance, in two parishes, in 1812, the rents were one thousand five hundred and ninety-three pounds, and in 1823 they were only nine hundred and seventy-two pounds. In another parish the reduction of rents has amounted, on an average, to thirty-six per cent. Previous to 1811 the houses were turf huts of the poorest description, in many instances the cattle being kept under the same roof with the family. Since 1811 a large proportion of their houses have been rebuilt in a superior manner the landlord having paid them for their old timber where it could not be moved, and having also contributed the new timber, with lime.
Before 1811 all the rents of the estates were used for the personal profit of the landlord ; but since that time, both by the present duke and his father, all the rents have been expended on improvements in the county, besides sixty thousand pounds more which have been remitted from England for the purpose.
money has been spent on churches, school houses, harbors, public inns, roads, and bridges.
In 1811 there was not a carriage road in the county, and only two bridges. Since that time four hundred and thirty miles of road have been constructed on the estate, at the expense of the proprietor and tenants. There is not a turnpike gate in the county, and yet the roads are kept perfect.
Before 1811 the mail was conveyed entirely by a foot runner, and there was but one post office in the county; and there was no direct post across the county, but letters to the north
and west were forwarded once a month. A mail coach has since been established, to which the late Duke of Sutherland contributed more than two thousand six hundred pounds; and since 1834 mail gigs have been established to convey letters to the north and west coast, towards which the Duke of Sutherland contributes three hundred pounds a year. There are thirteen post offices and sub-offices in the county. Before 1811 there was no inn in the county fit for the reception of strangers. Since that time there have been fourteen inns either built or enlarged by the duke.
Before 1811 there was scarcely a cart on the estate ; all the carriage was done on the backs of ponies. The cultivation of the interior was generally executed with a rude kind of spade, and there was not a gig in the county. In 1845 there were one thousand one hundred and thirty carts owned on the estate, and seven hundred and eight ploughs, also fortyone gigs.
Before 1812 there was no baker, and only two shops. In 1845 there were eight bakers and forty-six grocer's shops, in nearly all of which shoe blacking was sold to some extent, an unmistakable evidence of advancing civilization.
In 1808 the cultivation of the coast side of Sutherland was so defective that it was necessary often, in a fall of snow, to cut down the young Scotch firs to feed the cattle on; and in 1808 hay had to be imported. Now the coast side of Sutherland exhibits an extensive district of land cultivated according to the best principles of modern agriculture; several thousand acres have been added to the arable land by these improvements.
Before 1811 there were no woodlands of any extent on the cstate, and timber had to be obtained from a distance. Since