The Middle States the Best for Immigration - Virginia
May 16, 1868
Virginia is the State most suitable for the Swiss immigrants due to the climate. The southern states are desperate for immigrants due to the abolition of slavery.
The Middle States the Best for Immigration - Virginia M. Schumacher, the agent for the Swiss Confederation sent to tis country to ascer tain the most fitting location for a Swiss settlement, has reported that North Carolina, and the north of Alabama and Tennessee,aro best suited for that purpose. Some surprise it expressed at this, under the supposition that the climate of Switzerland is much colder than that of the latitude chosen in this country by M. Schumacher. There is a wide difference between the temperature of the same latitudes in this country and Europe. England, which lies between 50 and 56.20, is not so cold as parts of "Virginia, which lies between 36.15 and 40. Switzerland, between 46 and 47.30, is probably not a bit colder than those mountainous parts of North Carolina, Tennessee, and upper Alabama which have been no doubt selected by M. Schumacher as suited to the Swiss. The Alps, from their great height, are always crowned with snow, and the glaciers are ever in sight of the inhabitants of the valleys of Switzerland; but those valleys are probably not more inclement in winter than the mountain regions of Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee; Norway is little colder than Maine, though considerably nearer the North Pole. The climate of the western coast of the continents is much more gentle than that of the eastern. The temperature of the Pacific coast, in comparison with that of the Atlantic, is much the wilder. Virginia, though farther south, is well adapted to immigrants from Great Britain and all of middle Europe, and, indeed, far more agreeable to them than the more northern latitudes in this country. An enterprising and intelligent realestate broker who has a large amount of Virginia lands in hand for sale states that he has had an extensive correspondence with farmers residing in the northwestern States as high up as Iowa and Wisconsin, who express a great desire to come to Virginia. They complain much of the severity of the climate in that part of the Union, and the long suspension of labor under the interdict of winter. Six months of farm work in the year is about the limit there. The balance of the year is appropriated to defence against the discomforts and perils of winter to man and beast. One letter spoke of thirteen families who were ready to come in a body and settle down in Virginia. Slavery has been the impediment to the direct immigration to Virginia of a large portion of the population which has found its way to the inhospitable clime of the Northwest; and there cannot be a doubt that since this impediment is removed, Virginia will, after reconstruction, attract a large shore of the new-comers from abroad. Moreover, we shall see a considerable influx of people from the North and Northwest to this State, which affords the opportunity for the largest results to labor the year round, and by the fertility of its soil, the extent of its mineral wealth and water power, opens the richest field for enterprise and skill in the Union.
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“The Middle States the Best for Immigration - Virginia,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed June 18, 2019, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1038.