First Draft: Rhetorical Analysis on Ward Churchill’s I am Indigenist

Trevor Slade
Dr. Neilsen
English 150
A Rhetorical Analysis of Ward Churchill’s I am Indigenest
Ward Churchill is an authentic American writer and political activist. Churchill promoted the notion that the United State’s treatment towards the Native American’s should be referred to as mass genocide, often comparing the relationship between the United States and the Native Americans to Nazi Germany and the Jews. Although he was criticized for his lax research techniques, accused of academic dishonesty and persecuted for his strong controversial statements, Ward Churchill mastered many forms of rhetoric in his writing. The essay I am Indigenist: Notes on the Ideology of the Fourth World most accurately encompasses his influential writing style. The essay is a logical yet vague expression of Churchill’s personal political opinion on North American land distribution in a similar fashion that Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat illuminates the issue of globalization.
The essay was written to promote Indian land recovery in the United States. Churchill uses many rhetorical tools to supplement his arguments. He effectively uses fallacies of logic, Allusions, and emotional appeals to convince the reader to consider the perspective of the Native American. His argument can be split into three main sections separated by a shift in his intentions: the first establishes his authority on the subject, the second contains his logical argument, and the third ends the paper with a conclusion focused on appealing to the reader’s emotion.
Churchill takes a unique approach to building his relationship with the reader. He attempts to build a teacher-student relationship between him and the reader by displaying his vast knowledge and unique perspective on the topic covered. First off, the title of the book which he published as a collection of his articles is titled From a Native Son which conveys his desire to build a reputation as a member of the oppressed Native American Peoples. The first “section” of this article is devoted to building up Churchill’s reputation so that the reader can trust that the contents covered in the argument section of the article are not just controversial statements, but heartfelt and realistic solutions to a problem faced by Native Americans today.
Churchill first builds on this reputation by aligning his motives to the general motives of all Native American Organizations: “I am hardly unique or alone in adopting this perspective. It is a complex of ideas, sentiments and understandings that motivates the whole of the American Indian Movement in North America” He mentions specific groups involved in this political movement including conservative and radical Political groups. Of the many mentioned, an example of the contrast between conservative and political groups is his mentioning of the American Indian Movement, and the Warrior Society. While some analysts feel that the more radical and militant approach of the Warrior Society was a failure, however by mentioning both of these groups in the same list, Churchill attempts to give more authority to the ideology of these radical movements. Churchill is well aware of his notorious reputation as a radical, and attempts to alleviate the effects of that reputation on the reader.
A great portion of the introduction to this essay is simply listing historical figures of the Native American land struggle. Churchill lists many historic figures of the past, perhaps most notably Tecumseh, Black Hawk, and Crazy Horse. He also mentions more obscure names such as Left Hand, Poundmaker, and Mangus. After listing Historic Figures, he lists many current writers and political activists including Leslie Silko, Andrea Smith, and Dino Butler. In his description of these figures he uses words like warrior, elder, and heroes. He mentions that everyone living in North America should be aware of these figures, and ends the list with this statement: “They embody the absolute antithesis of the order represented by the ‘Four Georges’—George Washington, George Custer, George Patton, and George Bush—emblemizing the sweep of ‘American’ history as it is conventionally taught in that system of indoctrination the United States passes of as ‘education.” Churchill successfully built his reputation as a voice which is rightfully opposing traditional American history and society.
The second section of Churchill’s article is the largest, and contains his argument. Churchill approaches the task of persuading the reader with the use of logic. It was very important for Churchill to effectively establish his authority on the subject because he mostly draws upon his own experience and observation to prove the claims made in his argument. Because Churchill relies too heavily on his own experience and observation, he attempts to strengthen the appeal of his claims by heavily relying on one of the fallacies of logic–over simplification.
The skeleton structure of Churchill’s argument goes as follows. While the United States treated the Native American nations as unorganized peoples, the Native Americans were recognized by the world as a sovereign nation, and the United States made treaties suggesting that it acknowledged this status. The United States broke these treaties, and because most of them dealt with land disputes, the land which was acquired by the United States Government and its citizens was acquired illegally (with respect to international law). Much of the land which the US Government currently owns does not directly benefit its citizens, in fact in many cases it is a financial burden. In conclusion, it is both realistic and moral that the government be obligated to hand over a large chunk of its land to the remaining Native American peoples. If this land is given, and the United States is to pay more respect to Native American Culture, many social issues such as sexism, racism militarism and Homophobia would be alleviated.
In order to supplement this argument, Churchill is forced to oversimplify his statements. This is because of two reasons: the lack of studies conducted on the subject and the relatively short length of the essay. When Churchill is diving in to the notion that Indian Land Restoration is a possibility he states:
You’ll recall I said that the quantity of unceded land within the continental United States makes up about one-third of the land mass. Let’s just round this off to 30 percent, because there’s the matter of the 2.5 percent of the overall land base still being set aside as Indian reservations. Now Juxtapose that 30 percent to the approximately 35 percent of the same land mass the federal government presently holds in various kinds of trust status. Add the 10 to 12 percent of the land of the land the 48 contiguous states hold in trust. You end up with a 30 percent Indian claim against a 45 to 47 percent governmental holding. . . Conclusion? It is, and always has been, quite possible to accomplish the return of every square inch of unceded Indian Country in the United States without tossing a single non- Indian home owner off the land on which they live.
This entire argument, the notion that giving 30 percent of the land the United States owns to the Native Americans, rests upon many oversimplifications. The article is filled with these types of over simplifications because Churchill must simplify the issue in order to provide an “all encompassing” solution.
To end the Article, Churchill attempts to evoke the reader’s emotions. It appears that he is well aware of the critical rebuttals to his arguments. Because of this he focuses on preparing the reader to deal with these. He tries to invoke within the reader a sense of anger towards and separation from the paradigm from which these political rebuttals originate from. He attempts to relate to the reader by presenting his own emotions. He attempts to avoid classification as a radical by using a tone which suggests he is a martyr. He attempts to use an emotional appeal to relate to the reader, and by doing so conclude with a statement suggesting that while he is typically considered “crazy,” perhaps it is the academic institution in power which should be considered “out of touch.”
Churchill does a great job of formulating an argument in support of the controversial issue of Indian Land restoration. He uses all sorts of rhetorical tools to supplement his article. Churchill has the disadvantage of few resources to supplement his statements, and back up his claims. But even though he is lacking these resources, the use of rhetorical vices creates a very strong appeal in the academic arena. To conclude, Churchill may be one of the great masters of using rhetoric as a tool to convince an audience. The Article I am Indigenist is a prime example of his skill as a writer and political activist.

University Rankings: Chemistry (2008)

1 California Institute of Technology
2 MIT
3 Stanford
4 UC- Berkeley
5 Harvard
6 Scripps Research Institute
7 University of Illinois– Urbana-Champaign
8 University of Wisconsin– Madison
9 Cornell
10 Northwestern University
11 Columbia University
12 UCLA
13 University of Chicago
14 University of Texas– Austin
15 Yale
16 Penn State
17 Princeton
18 University of Michigan– Ann Arbor
19 University of North Carolina– Chapel Hill
20 UC- San Diego
21 University of Pennsylvania
22 Purdue
23 Texas A&M
24 UC-Irvine
25 University of Minnesota– Twin Cities
26 Georgia Institute of Technology
27 UC- Santa Barbara
28 Johns Hopkins University
29 Ohio State University
30 Rice University
31 UC- San Fransisco
32 University of Colorado– Boulder
33 University of Washington
34 Indiana University– Bloomington
35 UC- Davis
36 Emory
37 Iowa State University
38 Michigan State University
39 University of Arizona
40 University of Maryland– College Park
41 University of Utah
42 University of Florida
43 Colorado State University
44 Duke University
45 University of Pittsburgh
46 UCLA
47 Washington University in St. Louis
48 Florida State University
49 UC- Riverside
50 Arizona State University

University Rankings: Physics(2008)

1 MIT
2 Stanford
3 California Institute of Technology
4 Harvard
5 Princeton
6 University of California– Berkeley
7 Cornell
8 University of Chicago
9 University of Illinois– Urbana-Champaign
10 University of California–Santa Barbara
11 Columbia
12 Yale
13 University of Maryland– College Park
14 University of Michigan– Ann Arbor
15 University of Pennsylvania
16 UCLA
17 UCSD
18 University of Texas– Austin
19 University of Wisconsin–Madison
20 Johns Hopkins University
21 University of Colorado– Boulder
22 University of Washington
23 Penn State University– University Park
24 University of Minnesota– Twin Cities
25 SUNY–Stony Brook
26 Northwestern University
27 The Ohio State University
28 Rutgers
29 Brown University
30 Carnegie Mellon University
31 Rice University
32 Duke
33 Michigan State University
34 UC- Davis
35 UC- Irvine
36 Boston University
37 Georgia Institute of Technology
38 Purdue University
39 University of North Carolina– Chapel Hill
40 University of Virginia
41 University of Florida
42 NYU
43 University of Arizona
44 University of Rochester
45 Indiana University
45 Texas A&M
46 UC- Santa Cruz
49 Arizona State University
50 Iowa State University

University Rankings for Mathmatics (2009)

1 Princeton University Princeton, NJ
2 Harvard University Cambridge, MA
2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA
2 Stanford University Stanford, CA
2 U of California–Berkeley Berkeley, CA
6 U of Chicago Chicago, IL
7 California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA
7 Yale University New Haven, CT
9 Columbia University New York, NY
9 New York University New York, NY Distance
9 U of Michigan–Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI
12 U of California–Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
13 Cornell University Ithaca, NY
14 Brown University Providence, RI
14 U of Texas–Austin Austin, TX
14 U of Wisconsin–Madison Madison, WI
17 U of Minnesota–Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN
18 Northwestern University Evanston, IL
18 U of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign Urbana, IL
18 U of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
21 Duke University Durham, NC
21 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
21 U of Maryland–College Park College Park, MD
24 Rutgers, the State Uni of New Jersey–New Brunswick Piscataway, NJ
24 SUNY–Stony Brook Stony Brook, NY
24 U of California–San Diego La Jolla, CA
24 U of Washington Seattle, WA
28 Indiana Uni–Bloomington Bloomington, IN
28 Pennsylvania State Uni–University Park University Park, PA
28 Purdue Uni–West Lafayette West Lafayette, IN
28 Rice Uni Houston, TX
28 U of North Carolina–Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
33 Carnegie Mellon Uni Pittsburgh, PA
33 Ohio State Uni Columbus, OH
33 U of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
36 CUNY Graduate School and Uni Center New York, NY
36 Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA
36 U of California–Davis Davis, CA
36 U of Illinois–Chicago Chicago, IL
40 Brandeis Univ Waltham, MA
40 U of Arizona Tucson, AZ
40 U of Virginia Charlottesville, VA
40 Washington Univ in St. Louis St. Louis, MO
44 Michigan State Univ East Lansing, MI
44 Texas A&M Univ–College Station College Station, TX
44 U of California–Irvine Irvine, CA
44 U of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN
48 Boston Univ Boston, MA
48 Dartmouth College Hanover, NH
48 North Carolina State Univ Raleigh, NC
48 U of California–Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA
48 U of Colorado–Boulder Boulder, CO
48 Vanderbilt Univ Nashville, TN
48 Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA
55 U of Georgia Athens, GA
55 U of Iowa Iowa City, IA
55 U of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
58 Northeastern Uni Boston, MA
58 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY
58 U of Florida Gainesville, FL
58 U of Missouri–Columbia Columbia, MO
58 U of Oregon Eugene, OR
58 U of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA
64 Arizona State Uni Tempe, AZ
64 Claremont Graduate Uni Claremont, CA
64 Iowa State Uni Ames, IA
64 Louisiana State Uni–Baton Rouge Baton Rouge, LA
64 U of Kansas Lawrence, KS
64 U of Massachusetts–Amherst Amherst, MA
70 Florida State Uni Tallahassee, FL
70 U of California–Riverside Riverside, CA
70 U of Delaware Newark, DE
70 U of Rochester Rochester, NY
70 U of Tennessee–Knoxville Knoxville, TN

Houston Texas: good place to live?

As a chemical engineer, living in Texas is almost eminent…
Although there are a lot of jokes about the travesty of living in Texas, Houston doesn’t seem to be all that bad
Here are some videos about the area, and General information about the area.



Exxon Mobil in Houston

Exxon Mobil in Houston

Population: 5,542,048
Average Income: $50,250 / year
Population Growth Since 2000: 14.9%

Susan Boyle: 2nd Performance

Second Performance

First Performance

Here are some videos of Susan Boyle,,,,
Enjoy them to the MAX

Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal

It is a melancholy object to those, who walk through this great 
town, or travel in the country, when they see the streets, the 
roads and cabbin-doors crowded with beggars of the female sex,
 followed by three, four, or six children, all in rags, and 
importuning every passenger for an alms. These mothers instead of
being able to work for their honest livelihood, are forced to
 employ all their time in stroling to beg sustenance for their
 helpless infants who, as they grow up, either turn thieves for
want of work, or leave their dear native country, to fight for
 the Pretender in Spain, or sell themselves to the Barbadoes.
I think it is agreed by all parties, that this prodigious number
 of children in the arms, or on the backs, or at the heels of
 their mothers, and frequently of their fathers, is in the present
deplorable state of the kingdom, a very great additional
grievance; and therefore whoever could find out a fair, cheap and
easy method of making these children sound and useful members of
the common-wealth, would deserve so well of the publick, as to
have his statue set up for a preserver of the nation.
But my intention is very far from being confined to provide only
for the children of professed beggars: it is of a much greater
extent, and shall take in the whole number of infants at a
certain age, who are born of parents in effect as little able to
support them, as those who demand our charity in the streets.
As to my own part, having turned my thoughts for many years, upon
this important subject, and maturely weighed the several schemes
of our projectors, I have always found them grossly mistaken in
their computation. It is true, a child just dropt from its dam,
may be supported by her milk, for a solar year, with little other
nourishment: at most not above the value of two shillings, which
the mother may certainly get, or the value in scraps, by her
lawful occupation of begging; and it is exactly at one year old
that I propose to provide for them in such a manner, as, instead
of being a charge upon their parents, or the parish, or wanting
food and raiment for the rest of their lives, they shall, on the
contrary, contribute to the feeding, and partly to the cloathing
of many thousands.
There is likewise another great advantage in my scheme, that it
will prevent those voluntary abortions, and that horrid practice
of women murdering their bastard children, alas! too frequent
among us, sacrificing the poor innocent babes, I doubt, more to
avoid the expence than the shame, which would move tears and pity
in the most savage and inhuman breast.
The number of souls in this kingdom being usually reckoned one
million and a half, of these I calculate there may be about two
hundred thousand couple whose wives are breeders; from which
number I subtract thirty thousand couple, who are able to
maintain their own children, (although I apprehend there cannot
be so many, under the present distresses of the kingdom) but this
being granted, there will remain an hundred and seventy thousand
breeders. I again subtract fifty thousand, for those women who
miscarry, or whose children die by accident or disease within the
year. There only remain an hundred and twenty thousand children
of poor parents annually born. The question therefore is, How
this number shall be reared, and provided for? which, as I have
already said, under the present situation of affairs, is utterly
impossible by all the methods hitherto proposed. For we can
neither employ them in handicraft or agriculture; we neither
build houses, (I mean in the country) nor cultivate land: they
can very seldom pick up a livelihood by stealing till they arrive
at six years old; except where they are of towardly parts,
although I confess they learn the rudiments much earlier; during
which time they can however be properly looked upon only as
probationers: As I have been informed by a principal gentleman in
the county of Cavan, who protested to me, that he never knew
above one or two instances under the age of six, even in a part
of the kingdom so renowned for the quickest proficiency in that
art.
I am assured by our merchants, that a boy or a girl before twelve
years old, is no saleable commodity, and even when they come to
this age, they will not yield above three pounds, or three pounds
and half a crown at most, on the exchange; which cannot turn to
account either to the parents or kingdom, the charge of
nutriments and rags having been at least four times that value.
I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I
hope will not be liable to the least objection.
I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance
in London, that a young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year
old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether
stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it
will equally serve in a fricasie, or a ragoust.
I do therefore humbly offer it to publick consideration, that of
the hundred and twenty thousand children, already computed,
twenty thousand may be reserved for breed, whereof only one
fourth part to be males; which is more than we allow to sheep,
black cattle, or swine, and my reason is, that these children are
seldom the fruits of marriage, a circumstance not much regarded
by our savages, therefore, one male will be sufficient to serve
four females. That the remaining hundred thousand may, at a year
old, be offered in sale to the persons of quality and fortune,
through the kingdom, always advising the mother to let them suck
plentifully in the last month, so as to render them plump, and
fat for a good table. A child will make two dishes at an
entertainment for friends, and when the family dines alone, the
fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned
with a little pepper or salt, will be very good boiled on the
fourth day, especially in winter.
I have reckoned upon a medium, that a child just born will weigh
12 pounds, and in a solar year, if tolerably nursed, encreaseth
to 28 pounds.
I grant this food will be somewhat dear, and therefore very
proper for landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of
the parents, seem to have the best title to the children.
Infant’s flesh will be in season throughout the year, but more
plentiful in March, and a little before and after; for we are
told by a grave author, an eminent French physician, that fish
being a prolifick dyet, there are more children born in Roman
Catholick countries about nine months after Lent, the markets
will be more glutted than usual, because the number of Popish
infants, is at least three to one in this kingdom, and therefore
it will have one other collateral advantage, by lessening the
number of Papists among us.
I have already computed the charge of nursing a beggar’s child
(in which list I reckon all cottagers, labourers, and four-fifths
of the farmers) to be about two shillings per annum, rags
included; and I believe no gentleman would repine to give ten
shillings for the carcass of a good fat child, which, as I have
said, will make four dishes of excellent nutritive meat, when he
hath only some particular friend, or his own family to dine with
him. Thus the squire will learn to be a good landlord, and grow
popular among his tenants, the mother will have eight shillings
neat profit, and be fit for work till she produces another child.
Those who are more thrifty (as I must confess the times require)
may flea the carcass; the skin of which, artificially dressed,
will make admirable gloves for ladies, and summer boots for fine
gentlemen.
As to our City of Dublin, shambles may be appointed for this
purpose, in the most convenient parts of it, and butchers we may
be assured will not be wanting; although I rather recommend
buying the children alive, and dressing them hot from the knife,
as we do roasting pigs.
A very worthy person, a true lover of his country, and whose
virtues I highly esteem, was lately pleased, in discoursing on
this matter, to offer a refinement upon my scheme. He said, that
many gentlemen of this kingdom, having of late destroyed their
deer, he conceived that the want of venison might be well
supply’d by the bodies of young lads and maidens, not exceeding
fourteen years of age, nor under twelve; so great a number of
both sexes in every country being now ready to starve for want of
work and service: And these to be disposed of by their parents if
alive, or otherwise by their nearest relations. But with due
deference to so excellent a friend, and so deserving a patriot, I
cannot be altogether in his sentiments; for as to the males, my
American acquaintance assured me from frequent experience, that
their flesh was generally tough and lean, like that of our
school-boys, by continual exercise, and their taste disagreeable,
and to fatten them would not answer the charge. Then as to the
females, it would, I think, with humble submission, be a loss to
the publick, because they soon would become breeders themselves:
And besides, it is not improbable that some scrupulous people
might be apt to censure such a practice, (although indeed very
unjustly) as a little bordering upon cruelty, which, I confess,
hath always been with me the strongest objection against any
project, how well soever intended.
But in order to justify my friend, he confessed, that this
expedient was put into his head by the famous Salmanaazor, a
native of the island Formosa, who came from thence to London,
above twenty years ago, and in conversation told my friend, that
in his country, when any young person happened to be put to
death, the executioner sold the carcass to persons of quality, as
a prime dainty; and that, in his time, the body of a plump girl
of fifteen, who was crucified for an attempt to poison the
Emperor, was sold to his imperial majesty’s prime minister of
state, and other great mandarins of the court in joints from the
gibbet, at four hundred crowns. Neither indeed can I deny, that
if the same use were made of several plump young girls in this
town, who without one single groat to their fortunes, cannot stir
abroad without a chair, and appear at a play-house and assemblies
in foreign fineries which they never will pay for; the kingdom
would not be the worse.
Some persons of a desponding spirit are in great concern about
that vast number of poor people, who are aged, diseased, or
maimed; and I have been desired to employ my thoughts what course
may be taken, to ease the nation of so grievous an incumbrance.
But I am not in the least pain upon that matter, because it is
very well known, that they are every day dying, and rotting, by
cold and famine, and filth, and vermin, as fast as can be
reasonably expected. And as to the young labourers, they are now
in almost as hopeful a condition. They cannot get work, and
consequently pine away from want of nourishment, to a degree,
that if at any time they are accidentally hired to common labour,
they have not strength to perform it, and thus the country and
themselves are happily delivered from the evils to come.
I have too long digressed, and therefore shall return to my
subject. I think the advantages by the proposal which I have made
are obvious and many, as well as of the highest importance.
For first, as I have already observed, it would greatly lessen
the number of Papists, with whom we are yearly over-run, being
the principal breeders of the nation, as well as our most
dangerous enemies, and who stay at home on purpose with a design
to deliver the kingdom to the Pretender, hoping to take their
advantage by the absence of so many good Protestants, who have
chosen rather to leave their country, than stay at home and pay
tithes against their conscience to an episcopal curate.
Secondly, The poorer tenants will have something valuable of
their own, which by law may be made liable to a distress, and
help to pay their landlord’s rent, their corn and cattle being
already seized, and money a thing unknown.
Thirdly, Whereas the maintainance of an hundred thousand
children, from two years old, and upwards, cannot be computed at
less than ten shillings a piece per annum, the nation’s stock
will be thereby encreased fifty thousand pounds per annum,
besides the profit of a new dish, introduced to the tables of all
gentlemen of fortune in the kingdom, who have any refinement in
taste. And the money will circulate among our selves, the goods
being entirely of our own growth and manufacture.
Fourthly, The constant breeders, besides the gain of eight
shillings sterling per annum by the sale of their children, will
be rid of the charge of maintaining them after the first year.
Fifthly, This food would likewise bring great custom to taverns,
where the vintners will certainly be so prudent as to procure the
best receipts for dressing it to perfection; and consequently
have their houses frequented by all the fine gentlemen, who
justly value themselves upon their knowledge in good eating; and
a skilful cook, who understands how to oblige his guests, will
contrive to make it as expensive as they please.
Sixthly, This would be a great inducement to marriage, which all
wise nations have either encouraged by rewards, or enforced by
laws and penalties. It would encrease the care and tenderness of
mothers towards their children, when they were sure of a
settlement for life to the poor babes, provided in some sort by
the publick, to their annual profit instead of expence. We should
soon see an honest emulation among the married women, which of
them could bring the fattest child to the market. Men would
become as fond of their wives, during the time of their
pregnancy, as they are now of their mares in foal, their cows in
calf, or sow when they are ready to farrow; nor offer to beat or
kick them (as is too frequent a practice) for fear of a
miscarriage.
Many other advantages might be enumerated. For instance, the
addition of some thousand carcasses in our exportation of
barrel’d beef: the propagation of swine’s flesh, and improvement
in the art of making good bacon, so much wanted among us by the
great destruction of pigs, too frequent at our tables; which are
no way comparable in taste or magnificence to a well grown, fat
yearly child, which roasted whole will make a considerable figure
at a Lord Mayor’s feast, or any other publick entertainment. But
this, and many others, I omit, being studious of brevity.
Supposing that one thousand families in this city, would be
constant customers for infants flesh, besides others who might
have it at merry meetings, particularly at weddings and
christenings, I compute that Dublin would take off annually about
twenty thousand carcasses; and the rest of the kingdom (where
probably they will be sold somewhat cheaper) the remaining eighty
thousand.
I can think of no one objection, that will possibly be raised
against this proposal, unless it should be urged, that the number
of people will be thereby much lessened in the kingdom. This I
freely own, and ’twas indeed one principal design in offering it
to the world. I desire the reader will observe, that I calculate
my remedy for this one individual Kingdom of Ireland, and for no
other that ever was, is, or, I think, ever can be upon Earth.
Therefore let no man talk to me of other expedients: Of taxing
our absentees at five shillings a pound: Of using neither
cloaths, nor houshold furniture, except what is of our own growth
and manufacture: Of utterly rejecting the materials and
instruments that promote foreign luxury: Of curing the
expensiveness of pride, vanity, idleness, and gaming in our
women: Of introducing a vein of parsimony, prudence and
temperance: Of learning to love our country, wherein we differ
even from Laplanders, and the inhabitants of Topinamboo: Of
quitting our animosities and factions, nor acting any longer like
the Jews, who were murdering one another at the very moment their
city was taken: Of being a little cautious not to sell our
country and consciences for nothing: Of teaching landlords to
have at least one degree of mercy towards their tenants. Lastly,
of putting a spirit of honesty, industry, and skill into our
shop-keepers, who, if a resolution could now be taken to buy only
our native goods, would immediately unite to cheat and exact upon
us in the price, the measure, and the goodness, nor could ever
yet be brought to make one fair proposal of just dealing, though
often and earnestly invited to it.
Therefore I repeat, let no man talk to me of these and the like
expedients, ’till he hath at least some glympse of hope, that
there will ever be some hearty and sincere attempt to put them
into practice.
But, as to my self, having been wearied out for many years with
offering vain, idle, visionary thoughts, and at length utterly
despairing of success, I fortunately fell upon this proposal,
which, as it is wholly new, so it hath something solid and real,
of no expence and little trouble, full in our own power, and
whereby we can incur no danger in disobliging England. For this
kind of commodity will not bear exportation, and flesh being of
too tender a consistence, to admit a long continuance in salt,
although perhaps I could name a country, which would be glad to
eat up our whole nation without it.
After all, I am not so violently bent upon my own opinion, as to
reject any offer, proposed by wise men, which shall be found
equally innocent, cheap, easy, and effectual. But before
something of that kind shall be advanced in contradiction to my
scheme, and offering a better, I desire the author or authors
will be pleased maturely to consider two points. First, As things
now stand, how they will be able to find food and raiment for a
hundred thousand useless mouths and backs. And secondly, There
being a round million of creatures in humane figure throughout
this kingdom, whose whole subsistence put into a common stock,
would leave them in debt two million of pounds sterling, adding
those who are beggars by profession, to the bulk of farmers,
cottagers and labourers, with their wives and children, who are
beggars in effect; I desire those politicians who dislike my
overture, and may perhaps be so bold to attempt an answer, that
they will first ask the parents of these mortals, whether they
would not at this day think it a great happiness to have been
sold for food at a year old, in the manner I prescribe, and
thereby have avoided such a perpetual scene of misfortunes, as
they have since gone through, by the oppression of landlords, the
impossibility of paying rent without money or trade, the want of
common sustenance, with neither house nor cloaths to cover them
from the inclemencies of the weather, and the most inevitable
prospect of intailing the like, or greater miseries, upon their
breed for ever.
I profess, in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the
least personal interest in endeavouring to promote this necessary
work, having no other motive than the publick good of my country,
by advancing our trade, providing for infants, relieving the
poor, and giving some pleasure to the rich. I have no children,
by which I can propose to get a single penny; the youngest being
nine years old, and my wife past child-bearing.
The EndA Modest Proposal for preventing the children of poor people in
Ireland, from being a burden on their parents or country, and for
making them beneficial to the publick.

by Dr. Jonathan Swift. 1729
It is a melancholy object to those, who walk through this great
town, or travel in the country, when they see the streets, the
roads and cabbin-doors crowded with beggars of the female sex,
followed by three, four, or six children, all in rags, and
importuning every passenger for an alms. These mothers instead of
being able to work for their honest livelihood, are forced to
employ all their time in stroling to beg sustenance for their
helpless infants who, as they grow up, either turn thieves for
want of work, or leave their dear native country, to fight for
the Pretender in Spain, or sell themselves to the Barbadoes.
I think it is agreed by all parties, that this prodigious number
of children in the arms, or on the backs, or at the heels of
their mothers, and frequently of their fathers, is in the present
deplorable state of the kingdom, a very great additional
grievance; and therefore whoever could find out a fair, cheap and
easy method of making these children sound and useful members of
the common-wealth, would deserve so well of the publick, as to
have his statue set up for a preserver of the nation.
But my intention is very far from being confined to provide only
for the children of professed beggars: it is of a much greater
extent, and shall take in the whole number of infants at a
certain age, who are born of parents in effect as little able to
support them, as those who demand our charity in the streets.
As to my own part, having turned my thoughts for many years, upon
this important subject, and maturely weighed the several schemes
of our projectors, I have always found them grossly mistaken in
their computation. It is true, a child just dropt from its dam,
may be supported by her milk, for a solar year, with little other
nourishment: at most not above the value of two shillings, which
the mother may certainly get, or the value in scraps, by her
lawful occupation of begging; and it is exactly at one year old
that I propose to provide for them in such a manner, as, instead
of being a charge upon their parents, or the parish, or wanting
food and raiment for the rest of their lives, they shall, on the
contrary, contribute to the feeding, and partly to the cloathing
of many thousands.
There is likewise another great advantage in my scheme, that it
will prevent those voluntary abortions, and that horrid practice
of women murdering their bastard children, alas! too frequent
among us, sacrificing the poor innocent babes, I doubt, more to
avoid the expence than the shame, which would move tears and pity
in the most savage and inhuman breast.
The number of souls in this kingdom being usually reckoned one
million and a half, of these I calculate there may be about two
hundred thousand couple whose wives are breeders; from which
number I subtract thirty thousand couple, who are able to
maintain their own children, (although I apprehend there cannot
be so many, under the present distresses of the kingdom) but this
being granted, there will remain an hundred and seventy thousand
breeders. I again subtract fifty thousand, for those women who
miscarry, or whose children die by accident or disease within the
year. There only remain an hundred and twenty thousand children
of poor parents annually born. The question therefore is, How
this number shall be reared, and provided for? which, as I have
already said, under the present situation of affairs, is utterly
impossible by all the methods hitherto proposed. For we can
neither employ them in handicraft or agriculture; we neither
build houses, (I mean in the country) nor cultivate land: they
can very seldom pick up a livelihood by stealing till they arrive
at six years old; except where they are of towardly parts,
although I confess they learn the rudiments much earlier; during
which time they can however be properly looked upon only as
probationers: As I have been informed by a principal gentleman in
the county of Cavan, who protested to me, that he never knew
above one or two instances under the age of six, even in a part
of the kingdom so renowned for the quickest proficiency in that
art.
I am assured by our merchants, that a boy or a girl before twelve
years old, is no saleable commodity, and even when they come to
this age, they will not yield above three pounds, or three pounds
and half a crown at most, on the exchange; which cannot turn to
account either to the parents or kingdom, the charge of
nutriments and rags having been at least four times that value.
I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I
hope will not be liable to the least objection.
I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance
in London, that a young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year
old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether
stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it
will equally serve in a fricasie, or a ragoust.
I do therefore humbly offer it to publick consideration, that of
the hundred and twenty thousand children, already computed,
twenty thousand may be reserved for breed, whereof only one
fourth part to be males; which is more than we allow to sheep,
black cattle, or swine, and my reason is, that these children are
seldom the fruits of marriage, a circumstance not much regarded
by our savages, therefore, one male will be sufficient to serve
four females. That the remaining hundred thousand may, at a year
old, be offered in sale to the persons of quality and fortune,
through the kingdom, always advising the mother to let them suck
plentifully in the last month, so as to render them plump, and
fat for a good table. A child will make two dishes at an
entertainment for friends, and when the family dines alone, the
fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned
with a little pepper or salt, will be very good boiled on the
fourth day, especially in winter.
I have reckoned upon a medium, that a child just born will weigh
12 pounds, and in a solar year, if tolerably nursed, encreaseth
to 28 pounds.
I grant this food will be somewhat dear, and therefore very
proper for landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of
the parents, seem to have the best title to the children.
Infant’s flesh will be in season throughout the year, but more
plentiful in March, and a little before and after; for we are
told by a grave author, an eminent French physician, that fish
being a prolifick dyet, there are more children born in Roman
Catholick countries about nine months after Lent, the markets
will be more glutted than usual, because the number of Popish
infants, is at least three to one in this kingdom, and therefore
it will have one other collateral advantage, by lessening the
number of Papists among us.
I have already computed the charge of nursing a beggar’s child
(in which list I reckon all cottagers, labourers, and four-fifths
of the farmers) to be about two shillings per annum, rags
included; and I believe no gentleman would repine to give ten
shillings for the carcass of a good fat child, which, as I have
said, will make four dishes of excellent nutritive meat, when he
hath only some particular friend, or his own family to dine with
him. Thus the squire will learn to be a good landlord, and grow
popular among his tenants, the mother will have eight shillings
neat profit, and be fit for work till she produces another child.
Those who are more thrifty (as I must confess the times require)
may flea the carcass; the skin of which, artificially dressed,
will make admirable gloves for ladies, and summer boots for fine
gentlemen.
As to our City of Dublin, shambles may be appointed for this
purpose, in the most convenient parts of it, and butchers we may
be assured will not be wanting; although I rather recommend
buying the children alive, and dressing them hot from the knife,
as we do roasting pigs.
A very worthy person, a true lover of his country, and whose
virtues I highly esteem, was lately pleased, in discoursing on
this matter, to offer a refinement upon my scheme. He said, that
many gentlemen of this kingdom, having of late destroyed their
deer, he conceived that the want of venison might be well
supply’d by the bodies of young lads and maidens, not exceeding
fourteen years of age, nor under twelve; so great a number of
both sexes in every country being now ready to starve for want of
work and service: And these to be disposed of by their parents if
alive, or otherwise by their nearest relations. But with due
deference to so excellent a friend, and so deserving a patriot, I
cannot be altogether in his sentiments; for as to the males, my
American acquaintance assured me from frequent experience, that
their flesh was generally tough and lean, like that of our
school-boys, by continual exercise, and their taste disagreeable,
and to fatten them would not answer the charge. Then as to the
females, it would, I think, with humble submission, be a loss to
the publick, because they soon would become breeders themselves:
And besides, it is not improbable that some scrupulous people
might be apt to censure such a practice, (although indeed very
unjustly) as a little bordering upon cruelty, which, I confess,
hath always been with me the strongest objection against any
project, how well soever intended.
But in order to justify my friend, he confessed, that this
expedient was put into his head by the famous Salmanaazor, a
native of the island Formosa, who came from thence to London,
above twenty years ago, and in conversation told my friend, that
in his country, when any young person happened to be put to
death, the executioner sold the carcass to persons of quality, as
a prime dainty; and that, in his time, the body of a plump girl
of fifteen, who was crucified for an attempt to poison the
Emperor, was sold to his imperial majesty’s prime minister of
state, and other great mandarins of the court in joints from the
gibbet, at four hundred crowns. Neither indeed can I deny, that
if the same use were made of several plump young girls in this
town, who without one single groat to their fortunes, cannot stir
abroad without a chair, and appear at a play-house and assemblies
in foreign fineries which they never will pay for; the kingdom
would not be the worse.
Some persons of a desponding spirit are in great concern about
that vast number of poor people, who are aged, diseased, or
maimed; and I have been desired to employ my thoughts what course
may be taken, to ease the nation of so grievous an incumbrance.
But I am not in the least pain upon that matter, because it is
very well known, that they are every day dying, and rotting, by
cold and famine, and filth, and vermin, as fast as can be
reasonably expected. And as to the young labourers, they are now
in almost as hopeful a condition. They cannot get work, and
consequently pine away from want of nourishment, to a degree,
that if at any time they are accidentally hired to common labour,
they have not strength to perform it, and thus the country and
themselves are happily delivered from the evils to come.
I have too long digressed, and therefore shall return to my
subject. I think the advantages by the proposal which I have made
are obvious and many, as well as of the highest importance.
For first, as I have already observed, it would greatly lessen
the number of Papists, with whom we are yearly over-run, being
the principal breeders of the nation, as well as our most
dangerous enemies, and who stay at home on purpose with a design
to deliver the kingdom to the Pretender, hoping to take their
advantage by the absence of so many good Protestants, who have
chosen rather to leave their country, than stay at home and pay
tithes against their conscience to an episcopal curate.
Secondly, The poorer tenants will have something valuable of
their own, which by law may be made liable to a distress, and
help to pay their landlord’s rent, their corn and cattle being
already seized, and money a thing unknown.
Thirdly, Whereas the maintainance of an hundred thousand
children, from two years old, and upwards, cannot be computed at
less than ten shillings a piece per annum, the nation’s stock
will be thereby encreased fifty thousand pounds per annum,
besides the profit of a new dish, introduced to the tables of all
gentlemen of fortune in the kingdom, who have any refinement in
taste. And the money will circulate among our selves, the goods
being entirely of our own growth and manufacture.
Fourthly, The constant breeders, besides the gain of eight
shillings sterling per annum by the sale of their children, will
be rid of the charge of maintaining them after the first year.
Fifthly, This food would likewise bring great custom to taverns,
where the vintners will certainly be so prudent as to procure the
best receipts for dressing it to perfection; and consequently
have their houses frequented by all the fine gentlemen, who
justly value themselves upon their knowledge in good eating; and
a skilful cook, who understands how to oblige his guests, will
contrive to make it as expensive as they please.
Sixthly, This would be a great inducement to marriage, which all
wise nations have either encouraged by rewards, or enforced by
laws and penalties. It would encrease the care and tenderness of
mothers towards their children, when they were sure of a
settlement for life to the poor babes, provided in some sort by
the publick, to their annual profit instead of expence. We should
soon see an honest emulation among the married women, which of
them could bring the fattest child to the market. Men would
become as fond of their wives, during the time of their
pregnancy, as they are now of their mares in foal, their cows in
calf, or sow when they are ready to farrow; nor offer to beat or
kick them (as is too frequent a practice) for fear of a
miscarriage.
Many other advantages might be enumerated. For instance, the
addition of some thousand carcasses in our exportation of
barrel’d beef: the propagation of swine’s flesh, and improvement
in the art of making good bacon, so much wanted among us by the
great destruction of pigs, too frequent at our tables; which are
no way comparable in taste or magnificence to a well grown, fat
yearly child, which roasted whole will make a considerable figure
at a Lord Mayor’s feast, or any other publick entertainment. But
this, and many others, I omit, being studious of brevity.
Supposing that one thousand families in this city, would be
constant customers for infants flesh, besides others who might
have it at merry meetings, particularly at weddings and
christenings, I compute that Dublin would take off annually about
twenty thousand carcasses; and the rest of the kingdom (where
probably they will be sold somewhat cheaper) the remaining eighty
thousand.
I can think of no one objection, that will possibly be raised
against this proposal, unless it should be urged, that the number
of people will be thereby much lessened in the kingdom. This I
freely own, and ’twas indeed one principal design in offering it
to the world. I desire the reader will observe, that I calculate
my remedy for this one individual Kingdom of Ireland, and for no
other that ever was, is, or, I think, ever can be upon Earth.
Therefore let no man talk to me of other expedients: Of taxing
our absentees at five shillings a pound: Of using neither
cloaths, nor houshold furniture, except what is of our own growth
and manufacture: Of utterly rejecting the materials and
instruments that promote foreign luxury: Of curing the
expensiveness of pride, vanity, idleness, and gaming in our
women: Of introducing a vein of parsimony, prudence and
temperance: Of learning to love our country, wherein we differ
even from Laplanders, and the inhabitants of Topinamboo: Of
quitting our animosities and factions, nor acting any longer like
the Jews, who were murdering one another at the very moment their
city was taken: Of being a little cautious not to sell our
country and consciences for nothing: Of teaching landlords to
have at least one degree of mercy towards their tenants. Lastly,
of putting a spirit of honesty, industry, and skill into our
shop-keepers, who, if a resolution could now be taken to buy only
our native goods, would immediately unite to cheat and exact upon
us in the price, the measure, and the goodness, nor could ever
yet be brought to make one fair proposal of just dealing, though
often and earnestly invited to it.
Therefore I repeat, let no man talk to me of these and the like
expedients, ’till he hath at least some glympse of hope, that
there will ever be some hearty and sincere attempt to put them
into practice.
But, as to my self, having been wearied out for many years with
offering vain, idle, visionary thoughts, and at length utterly
despairing of success, I fortunately fell upon this proposal,
which, as it is wholly new, so it hath something solid and real,
of no expence and little trouble, full in our own power, and
whereby we can incur no danger in disobliging England. For this
kind of commodity will not bear exportation, and flesh being of
too tender a consistence, to admit a long continuance in salt,
although perhaps I could name a country, which would be glad to
eat up our whole nation without it.
After all, I am not so violently bent upon my own opinion, as to
reject any offer, proposed by wise men, which shall be found
equally innocent, cheap, easy, and effectual. But before
something of that kind shall be advanced in contradiction to my
scheme, and offering a better, I desire the author or authors
will be pleased maturely to consider two points. First, As things
now stand, how they will be able to find food and raiment for a
hundred thousand useless mouths and backs. And secondly, There
being a round million of creatures in humane figure throughout
this kingdom, whose whole subsistence put into a common stock,
would leave them in debt two million of pounds sterling, adding
those who are beggars by profession, to the bulk of farmers,
cottagers and labourers, with their wives and children, who are
beggars in effect; I desire those politicians who dislike my
overture, and may perhaps be so bold to attempt an answer, that
they will first ask the parents of these mortals, whether they
would not at this day think it a great happiness to have been
sold for food at a year old, in the manner I prescribe, and
thereby have avoided such a perpetual scene of misfortunes, as
they have since gone through, by the oppression of landlords, the
impossibility of paying rent without money or trade, the want of
common sustenance, with neither house nor cloaths to cover them
from the inclemencies of the weather, and the most inevitable
prospect of intailing the like, or greater miseries, upon their
breed for ever.
I profess, in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the
least personal interest in endeavouring to promote this necessary
work, having no other motive than the publick good of my country,
by advancing our trade, providing for infants, relieving the
poor, and giving some pleasure to the rich. I have no children,
by which I can propose to get a single penny; the youngest being
nine years old, and my wife past child-bearing.
The End