Immorality Within the Colony

Immorality Within the Colony

A man by the name of John M’Gregor, a native of Scotland who immigrated to Covehead, Prince Edward Island as a young boy with his family, became an active merchant, politician, civil servant and writer.12  In 1832 he wrote a book called British America13 which summarized his observations of the British Colonies in North America.  It is interesting to note his following observations about Prince Edward Island:

“Many of the inhabitants are engaged in trade; but the most extensive merchants having been ruined by their heavy speculations in ships, the present trade of Charlotte Town is confined to the selling of various kinds of British goods, and West India produce, for money, or, in the way of barter, for agricultural produce. The other inhabitants follow various kinds of handicraft, or support themselves by keeping taverns, or dram-shops.”14

He also noted that, “The inhabitants of the colony, particularly the old farmers, are hospitable, kind, and obliging, and generally speaking, a moral people. Litigation, which the timber business, and the credit given by the tavern-keepers and small shopkeepers, have produced, and the low price of rum, form the sole causes of immorality, and the most baneful evils connected with the island; and it is much and sincerely to be regretted, that many of the magistrates, and some of the attorneys, have fostered, rather than discouraged, these causes of iniquity and of any common wretchedness that can be discovered in the colony.”15

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