FRUIT FARMING IN CALIFORNIA.
Author of "Striking Events in Irish History," etc., etc.
A Suggestion to Persons Seeking a Start in Life
Comparison and Warning
Across America -
London to Chicago
Chicago to San Francisco
San Francisco to Now Orleans
New Orleans to London
Information About California
Price of Land
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
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,
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.
THE SPECIAL ADVANTAGES
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
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.