In letter III, de Crèvecoeur endeavors to show his readers how Christian sects are introduced into the Americas and then, he claims, “wear out” so that the prevalent attitude becomes one of religious indifference. He mentions both the behavior of the members of such sects, which include living in close proximity to each other and erecting a temple within that area of common residence. They worship “the Divinity” according to their own preferences, without being disturbed by anyone else. He notes that European sects can come to America and follow such practices, safe from interference by the governor or any other power—especially if they are “peaceable” and “industrious.”
De Crèvecoeur states that the breakdown of difference comes from the intermingling of practitioners of different sects within a short distance. He offers the example of four groups that live down the road from each other: one farmer and his family are Catholics, the next are Lutherans, beyond them seceders, and fourth comes a Low Dutchman and his family. They are more concerned with farming, the author maintains, than religious differences.
The Catholic man grows wheat, the Lutheran “embellishes the earth [and] clears swamps,” the seceder “likewise raises good crops” and has a lovely orchard, and the Low Dutchman’s “house and farm [are]… the neatest in all the country.” Religion comes to take a backseat, he argues, to “the affairs of this world.” In the next generation, the parents will give little religious education to their children, who are likely to intermarry. He claims that the Quakers are an exception to this tendency.
In summary, de Crèvecoeur sees America as embodying tremendous religious tolerance. “Persecution, religious pride, [and] the love of contradiction, have ceased here….” He pronounces that in America, “individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men,” whose labor brings them “the rewards of his industry.” As people no longer want for a mere “morsel of bread,” men and their families together prosper:
Wives and children,… fat and frolicsome, gladly help their father to clear those fields whence exuberant crops are to arise to feed and to clothe them all....