Amidst the manufactured angst over President Trump’s enforcement of immigration law, I recalled a few passages from Locke in America1, by Jerome Huyler. As opposed to today’s social justice nonsense, which demands the acceptance of any and all foreigners, including barbarians intent on our destruction, immigrants to our shores in the latter-18th century had different aspirations.
Huyler cites Letters from an American Farmer, a 1782 work by the French-born aristocrat Michel-Guillaume-Jean de Crevecoeur. After serving in the Quebec militia during the French and Indian War, Crevecoeur immigrated to New York, bought a farm, and swore allegiance to George III. Letters reflects his pre-Revolutionary War observations of a new emerging people, Americans.
No sooner does a European arrive, no matter of what condition, than his eyes are opened upon the fair prospects . . . Has he any particular talent or industry? He exerts it in order to procure a livelihood, and it succeeds. Is he a merchant? The avenues of trade are infinite. Is he eminent in any respect? He will be employed and respected. Does he love a country life? Pleasant farms present themselves. Is he a laborer, sober and industrious? He need not go many miles, nor receive many informations before he will be hired, (and) well fed at the table of his employer . . . Does he want uncultivated land? Thousands of acres present themselves . . . Whatever be his talents or inclinations, if they are moderate, he may satisfy them.
But Crevecoeur didn’t just catalog varieties of opportunity. He depicted the transformation that took root in the soul of the immigrant.
He no sooner breathes our air than he forms schemes and embarks in designs he never would have thought of in his own country . . . He begins to feel the effects of a sort of resurrection. Hitherto he had not lived, simply vegetated. He now feels himself a man because he is treated as such . . . Judge what an alteration there must arise in the mind and thought of this man. He begins to forget his former servitude and dependence. His heart involuntarily swells and glows. If he is a good man, he forms schemes of future prosperity. He proposes to educate his children better than he has been educated himself. He thinks of future modes of conduct, feels an ardor to labor he never felt before. Pride steps in and lead him to everything that the laws do not forbid . . . He sees happiness and prosperity in all places disseminated. He meets with hospitality, kindness, and plenty everywhere . . . From involuntary idleness, servile dependence, penury, and useless labor, he has passed to toils of a very different nature, rewarded by ample substance.
This is an American.
The nature of man is to be free, free to look forward to the day’s challenges and surmount them for the good of himself and his family. This search for fulfillment, for what our founding generation called the pursuit of happiness, is as much a part of our nature as life itself. The Left and Islam suppress the Law of Nature. They encourage societal division and discourage the assimilation so vital to keeping free government. Both the Left and Islam must be continually called out and ridiculed, for both are antithetical to happiness.
We are the many; the elites are the few. Now, it is our turn. Be proactive. Be a Re-Founder. Join Convention of States. Sign our COS Petition.
- Huyler, J. (1995). Locke in America, The Moral Philosophy of the Founding Era. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. pp. 206-208.