Trades

The Health of Various Employments – June 1857

The Provincial Freeman was devoted to Anti-Slavery, Temperance and General Literature, and was affiliated with no particular Political Party.

Its prospectus stated, “it will open its columns to the views of men of different political opinions, reserving the right, as an independent Journal, of full expression on all questions or projects affecting the people in a political way; and reserving, also, the right to express emphatic condemnation of all projects, having for their object in a great or remote degree, the subversion of the principles of the British Constitution, or of British rule in the Provinces.”

In July, 1856, the office was seized for debt and publication was suspended until Nov. 25, when issue number 16 was published. The volume was closed with issue number 49, August 22, 1857.

This article appeared in the June 13, 1857 edition.

Health Of Employments

The following table, recently prepared by order of the Legislature of Massachusetts, is very instructive – showing as it does the comparative healthfulness of various employments, by a statistical statement of the average ages which those that follow them attain to:

Agriculturalists — 63.93
Bakers — 43.45
Bank Officers — 63.76
Blacksmiths — 51.41
Butchers — 50.00
Calico-printers — 51.33
Carpenters — 49.39
Clergymen — 55.72
Clerks — 34.36
Coopers — 58.37
Editors — 40.00
Gentlemen — 68.19
Hatters — 54.27
Judges & Justices — 65.00
Lawyers — 54.43
Machinists — 36.41
Manufacturers — 43.28
Masons — 47.78
Mechanics — 48.45
Merchants — 51.71
Musicians — 36.86
Operatives — 32.93
Painters — 42.68
Physicians — 54.94
Printers — 38.00
Public Officers — 56.87
Rope Makers — 54.50
Shipwrights — 55.27
Shoemakers — 43.12
Tailors — 44.35
Teachers — 34.46
Traders — 46.35

It will be noticed that those who pursue the pleasing avocation of living “Gentlemen,” attain to the greatest age, being an average of over 68 years. Then come the Judges and Justices, 65 years. Then the Agriculturists and Bank Officers nearly 64 years. The Lawyers and Physicians live 54 years – and the Merchants only 51. Of the above classes, it is doubtless partly the mental anxieties and excitements to which the Merchants, Lawyers and Physicians are subjected, which shorten the average of their lives. They also do not live as regularly, do not take their sleep and meals as leisurely and methodically as the “Gentleman,” the Judges and the Bank Officers and Merchants – they are anxious as to their situations, and a life at the desk is not of itself a healthy one.

Editors only live, on the average to forty. Poor fellows! who can wonder at it? Their means of living generally are precarious, and they are expected to do up the larger portion of the complaining and quarreling of the community. Does any grieve, and they are not grieved? Forty years of such harrassing, temptuous life – spent in keeping the rulers of the world in the straight and narrow path, to say nothing of the people, and an occasional tilt with the editor of a rival paper is generally enough to consume the vital energies of the strongest and most hopeful.

The Clergymen, it seems, live to fifty-five. Editors belong to the church militant, the Clergy, very generally, to the church triumphant. This gives them fifteen years more of life – though they fall short of the “Gentlemen” nearly as much as the Editors fall short of them.

Of the trades, Coopering seems to be the healthiest, 58 years; while the Hatters and Ropemakers live 54 years, and the Butchers 50…

Collection: African American Newspapers
Publication: Provincial Freeman
Date: June 13, 1857
Title: Health Of Employments
Location: Chatham, Canada West

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