A Start In Life - A Journey Across America - Fruit Farming In California By C.F. Dowsett


=A Journey Across America.=




Author of Striking Events - Page 1
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=A Journey Across America.=




Author of "Striking Events in Irish History," etc., etc.


A Suggestion to Persons Seeking a Start in Life Special Advantages Comparison and Warning Across America - London to Chicago Chicago to San Francisco San Francisco to Now Orleans New Orleans to London Information About California Currency Merced Price of Land American Surveys Special Instruction Provided Various Estimates as to what could be done with Various Amounts of Capital Price of Fruit Trees When Fruit Trees Pay Position of a Settler Cost of Board and Lodging Raisin Culture Irrigation Olive Culture Special Openings Potato Growing Cost of Provisions, etc., at Merced Cost of Journey by Sea and Land Analysis of Merced Soils Position of the Vendors

=A Start in Life.=

I have entitled this little book "A Start in Life," because it conveys information which would enable any person possessing a small capital, with some industry, patience, and steady habits, to make a start in life which, humanly speaking, could not fail of success.

The old countries of Europe contain a superabundant population; every branch of professional and commercial life is so overcrowded, that there exists a competition so keen, as to reduce the incomes of the largest, and, in many cases, to prevent the smallest workers, in whatever sphere, from getting a remunerative return for the activities of brain, muscle, and money.

To inform the public, therefore, how a young man may make a first start in life, or an older man a fresh start in life, is offering an advantage which, I doubt not, will be appreciated by many who read these pages.

I am prepared to hear the objection that, in the proposals set forth herein, I am seeking a personal advantage as Agent for the sale of the lands at Merced, in California, that I refer to, and I meet it with this statement: Let the objector consider his prospects of success in the place where he now is, and if they are reasonably good, let him stay there; if they are not, then let him intelligently consider what his capabilities are - whether he has any special or technical knowledge, and, if so, in what place he can expect the best return for a full use of his talents. If any opening appears probable in any of the old countries, he will, perhaps, first consider that; but if he can see no opening at home, then let him consider, by careful investigation, the more distant fields; let him learn all he can about all the British Colonies, and other countries, and especially Canada and the United States, as being nearest to Great Britain. Having learnt something generally of these distant places, then, having regard to his own abilities and capital, and his personal desires as to distance from the Old Country, climate, &c., he should make his choice as to which of the places he has read of seems most likely to give him a fair prospect of success; and then, having come to this decision, he should learn all he can about that particular place. I admit that I shall receive a personal benefit by persons settling at Merced, in California; but - I say this with great confidence - if, after an intelligent consideration of other places, any person, desiring a start in life, comes to the conclusion that Fruit culture in California is an occupation, and a country, that would suit him, then let him consider all the places in California where openings for this occupation are presented, and let him choose which of them he considers most suitable; and, at the risk of appearing invidious, I would add that he should not believe all he reads, but should make his examination and inquiries for himself, on the spot. I do not ask him blindly to believe what is set forth in these pages, but if he thinks that California is a suitable place of settlement for him, then I do say, with great emphasis, that he should not settle upon anything in California until he has been to Merced, and proved for himself that the statements are credible. After he has been to Merced, I have little doubt that he will be convinced that that place presents an opening which would be worth his decision.

If he proceed to California by the Southern Pacific Railway, he could break his journey at the various other places of Fruit culture settlement, and inspect them, reaching Merced last, as the nearest to the great centre of San Francisco.

A careful comparison of the various fields of Fruit culture enterprise will, I am assured, show him that Merced possesses peculiar advantages.

It is well known that the great drawback of California is want of water; and intending settlers must not be satisfied by the statements of agents, or owners, that their lands have water advantages, but they must satisfy themselves that they can have water by irrigation (not by the expensive, laborious process of pumping it up from uncertain springs), and in such a quantity as to be permanent.

At some places lands now supplied by irrigation will fall short presently, when the owners carry the water on to thousands of adjoining acres; therefore, a full and permanent supply of water is an essential.


my clients offer settlers at Merced are: -

1. A permanent supply of Water, for a perpetual water right accompanies every lot of land sold.

2. Contiguity to a Railway Station on the main line, and to a Town, with commercial, professional, educational, social and religious advantages.

3. Instruction in Fruit culture gratis by a specialist, who is paid by my clients to instruct settlers on their lands.

4. A rich Soil, of which, on another page, an analysis is given.

5. A ready Market for produce. Buyers come round the country and purchase the crops as they are on the trees, taking upon themselves the picking and packing.

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