Wise Legislation

John Francis Maguire
CHAPTER IX (9) start of chapter

The mineral capabilities of the country are now attracting attention, and promise to prove an important element in its resources. A mineralogical survey, instituted by the Government, is in progress, and the results already established justify considerable expectations. A copper mine is in successful operation; and besides copper, lead and coals are known to exist in several parts of the island. The Government afford every encouragement to mining enterprise. For a fine of 5l. any one may obtain a licence of search over three square miles, and at any time within two years he can select from the tract over which his licence extends one square mile, for which he becomes entitled to a grant in fee, the only further charge being a royalty of 2½ per cent, for the first five years' working. With such liberal terms on the part of the Government, aided by the valuable information which their survey is likely to diffuse, it may fairly be expected that the latent mineral wealth of Newfoundland may ere long afford employment to many thousands of its population.

The Irish portion of the colonists are not in any respect inferior to their neighbours of other nationalities. Whether in the professions, as merchants and traders, or as daring and successful fishermen, they enjoy an enviable position, and maintain the highest character. For their numbers the Irish men of business represent as large an amount of wealth as any other class in the colony, and in influence and general repute they are not second to those with whom they are associated. In the Government the Catholic element is adequately felt, and the right of Catholics to the enjoyment of their legitimate influence is not questioned even by the most extreme of their opponents. 'They have,' says a distinguished Catholic layman, 'their full measure of equal privileges, and neither their country nor their creed is a bar to advancement in any of the walks of life.'

The Irish in America, first published in 1868, provides an invaluable account of the extreme difficulties that 19th Century Irish immigrants faced in their new homeland and the progress which they had nonetheless made in the years since arriving on a foreign shore. A new edition, including additional notes and an index, has been published by Books Ulster/LibraryIreland:

Paperback: 700+ pages The Irish in America

ebook: The Irish in America