Header img
Beyond Penn's Treaty

The Life of Thomas Eddy; Comprising an Extensive Correspondence

Page out of 347

Such, my good sir, is the effect of well directed
labour, aided by skill, enterprise, and capital; and
such are the means by which England

continues to
enjoy that elevated height to which she has attained.
Yet, these advantages are not without their evils,
and disadvantages. In the year 1688, (118 years ago,)
Mr. Gregory King, an eminent political economist of
the 17th century, estimated the national income at
48 millions, on a population of 5,500,000 persons;
now, it is estimated at 222,000,000l. in a population
of somewhat less than nine millions, in England
and Wales. The incovenience we feel, is, that dis-
soluteness of manners, and moral and criminal
offences, increase with the opulence of the country.

Our poor, either wholly or partially, maintained at
the public expense, have been found, upon an accu-
rate investigation, to exceed 1,040,000 persons, and
the whole annual expense, applicable to them alone,
is somewhat more than 4,700,000l. a year, which ex-
ceeds the whole revenue of most of the nations of

, and is more than that of Denmark and Swe-
put together.

In order, as far as possible, to counteract this gan-
grene in the body politic, and to give energy and
effect to the industry of the country, and to contri-
bute to its happiness and prosperity, I have publish-
ed, this last Summer, a tract on the education of the
poor, which I send you, under cover. I know you
will read it with avidity, because it is not only a
subject in which you have, on all occasions, very
much interested yourself, but because it is treated in
a manner somewhat new, while it contains many
strong points, calculated not only to excite attention,
but, I trust, to be useful in America, and in every
civilized country. I am, at present, engaged in com-
piling another work on the subject of the poor, which
is also treated in a manner different from other au-
thors who have written on the subject. I hope, in a
couple of months, to present it to the public, when I