Letters From An American Farmer By Hector St. John De Crevecoeur

 -  Seldom is it that any individual is
amerced or punished; their jail conveys no terror; no man has lost
his - Page 150
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Seldom Is It That Any Individual Is Amerced Or Punished; Their Jail Conveys No Terror; No Man Has Lost His Life Here Judicially Since The Foundation Of This Town, Which Is Upwards Of An Hundred Years.

Solemn tribunals, public executions, humiliating punishments, are altogether unknown.

I saw neither governors, nor any pageantry of state; neither ostentatious magistrates, nor any individuals clothed with useless dignity: no artificial phantoms subsist here either civil or religious; no gibbets loaded with guilty citizens offer themselves to your view; no soldiers are appointed to bayonet their compatriots into servile compliance. But how is a society composed of 5000 individuals preserved in the bonds of peace and tranquillity? How are the weak protected from the strong? - I will tell you. Idleness and poverty, the causes of so many crimes, are unknown here; each seeks in the prosecution of his lawful business that honest gain which supports them; every period of their time is full, either on shore or at sea. A probable expectation of reasonable profits, or of kindly assistance, if they fail of success, renders them strangers to licentious expedients. The simplicity of their manners shortens the catalogues of their wants; the law at a distance is ever ready to exert itself in the protection of those who stand in need of its assistance. The greatest part of them are always at sea, pursuing the whale or raising the cod from the surface of the banks: some cultivate their little farms with the utmost diligence; some are employed in exercising various trades; others again in providing every necessary resource in order to refit their vessels, or repair what misfortunes may happen, looking out for future markets, etc. Such is the rotation of those different scenes of business which fill the measure of their days; of that part of their lives at least which is enlivened by health, spirits, and vigour.

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