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Various Articles: Information For Emigrants to New York and Canada 1800's

Transcribed by Teena
The following extracted from: ["Information published by His Majesty's Commissioners for Emigration, respecting the British Colonies in North America." London, C. Knight, 1832. Price twopence]
In the year 1832 a little pamphlet of advice to emigrants was issued by his Majesty's Commissioners for Emigration, which contained some useful information in a small compass. The Commission no longer exists. In lieu of it, J. Denham Pinnock, Esq., has been appointed by Government His Majesty's agent for the furtherance of emigration from England to the British Colonies. Letters on the subject of emigration should be addressed to this gentleman at the Colonial Office, under cover to the Colonial Secretary of State. One chief object of his appointment is to afford facilities and information to parish authorities and landed proprietors desirous of furthering the emigration of labourers and others from their respective districts, especially with reference to the emigration clause of the Poor Laws Amendment Act.

The following Government emigration agents have also been appointed at the respective ports named:--

Liverpool ...Lieut. Low, R.N.
Bristol ... Lieut. Henry, R.N.
Leith ... Lieut. Forrest, R.N.
Greenock ... Lieut. Hemmans, R.N.
Dublin ... Lieut. Hodder, R.N.
Cork ... Lieut. Friend, R.N.
Limerick ... Lieut. Lynch, R.N.
Belfast ... Lieut. Millar, R.N.
Sligo ... Lieut. Shuttleworth, R.N.

And at Quebec, A. C. Buchanan, Esq., the chief Government emigration agent, will afford every information to all emigrants who seek his advice.


The following is an extract from the pamphlet published in 1832-
Passages to Quebec or New Brunswick may either be engaged inclusive of provisions, or exclusive of provisions, in which case the ship- owner finds nothing but water, fuel, and bed places, without bedding. Children under 14 years of age are charged one-half, and under 7 years of age one-third of the full price, and for children under 12 months of age no charge is made. Upon these conditions the price of passage from London, or from places on the east coast of Great Britain, has generally been 6 pounds with provisions, or 3 pounds without. From Liverpool, Greenock, and the principal ports of Ireland, as the chances of delay are fewer, the charge is somewhat lower; this year [1832] it will probably be from 2 pounds to 2 pounds, 10 shillings without provisions, or from 4 pounds to 5 pounds, including provisions.
It is possible that in March and April passages may be obtained from Dublin for 1 pound, 15 shillings or even 1 pound, 10 shillings; but the prices always grow higher as the season advances. In ships sailing from Scotland or Ireland, it has mostly been the custom for passengers to find their own provisions; but this practice has not been so general in London, and some shipowners, sensible of the dangerous mistakes which may be made in this matter through ignorance, are very averse to receive passengers who will not agree to be victualled by the ship. Those who do resolve to supply their own provisions, should at least be careful not to lay in an insufficient stock; fifty days is the shortest period for which it is safe to provide, and from London the passage is sometimes prolonged to seventy-five days. The best months for leaving England are certainly March and April; the later emigrants do not find employment so abundant, and have less time in the colony before the commencement of winter."

From a printed paper, issued by Mr. Buchanan at Quebec, the following statements are taken: (the paper is dated July, 1835).
There is nothing of more importance to emigrants, on arrival at Quebec, than correct information on the leading points connected with their future pursuits. Many have suffered much by a want of caution, and by listening to the opinions of interested, designing characters, who frequently offer their advice unsolicited, and who are met generally about wharfs and landing-places frequented by strangers: to guard emigrants from falling into such errors, they should, immediately on arrival at Quebec, proceed to the office of the chief agent for emigrants, Sault-au-Matelot Street, Lower Town, where every information requisite for their future guidance in either getting settlements on lands, or obtaining employment in Upper or Lower Canada, will be obtained gratis. On your route from Quebec to your destination you will find many plans and schemes offered to your consideration, but turn away from them unless you are well satisfied of the purity of the statements: on all occasions when you stand in need of advice, apply only to the Government agents, who will give every information required, gratis.

Emigrants are informed that they may remain on board ship 48 hours after arrival, nor can they be deprived of any of their usual accommodations for cooking or berthing during that period, and the master of the ship is bound to disembark the emigrants and their baggage free of expense, at the usual landing places, and at seasonable hours. They should avoid drinking the water of the river St. Lawrence, which has a strong tendency to produce bowel complaints in strangers.

Should you require to change your English money, go to some respectable merchant or dealer, or the banks: the currency in the Canadas is at the rate of 5 shillings the dollar, and is called Halifax currency; at present the gold sovereign is worth, in Quebec and Montreal, about 1 pound, 4 shillings, 1 pence currency. In New York 8 shillings is calculated for the dollar, hence many are deceived when hearing of the rates of labour, &c. 5 shillings in Canada is equal to 8 shillings in New York; thus 8 shillings New York currency is equivalent to 5 shillings Halifax currency.

Emigrants who wish to settle in Lower Canada or to obtain employment, are informed that many desirable situations are to be met with. Wild lands may be obtained by purchase from the Commissioner of Crown Lands in various townships in the province, and the British American Land Company are making extensive preparations for selling lands and farms in the Eastern Townships to emigrants.

Farm labourers are much wanted in all the districts of Upper Canada, and, if industrious, they may be sure of obtaining very high wages; mechanics of almost every description, and good servants, male and female, are much in request.

Emigrants proceeding to Upper Canada, either by the Ottawa or St. Lawrence route, are advised to supply themselves with provisions at Montreal, such as bread, tea, sugar, and butter, which they will purchase cheaper and of better quality, until they reach Kingston, than along the route. They are also particularly cautioned against the use of ardent spirits or drinking cold river water, or lying on the banks of the river exposed to the night dews; they should proceed at once from the steam-boat at Montreal to the entrance of the Canal or Lachine, from whence the Durham and steam-boats start for Prescott and Bytown daily. The total expense for the transport of an adult emigrant from Quebec to Toronto and the head of Lake Ontario, by steam and Durham-boats, will not exceed 1 pound, 4 shillings currency, or 1 pound, 1 shilling sterling. Kingston, Belleville, up the Bay of Quinte, Cobourgh, and Port Hope, in the Newcastle district, Hamilton and Niagara at the head of Lake Ontario, will be convenient stopping-places for families intending to purchase lands in Upper Canada.

There is considerable competition among the Forwarding Companies at Montreal; emigrants therefore had better exercise a little caution before agreeing for their transport to Prescott or Kingston, and they should avoid those persons that crowd on board the steam-boats on arrival at Montreal, offering their services to get passages, &c. Caution is also necessary at Prescott or Kingston, in selecting regular conveyances up Lake Ontario. I would particularly advise emigrants destined for Upper Canada, not to incur the expense of lodging or delay at Montreal, but to proceed on arrival of the steam-boat to the barges for Bytown or Prescott.

Labourers or mechanics dependent on immediate employment, are requested to proceed immediately on arrival into the country. The chief agent will consider such persons as may loiter about the ports of landing beyond four days after their arrival, to have no further claims on the protection of his Majesty's agents for assistance or employment, unless they have been detained by sickness or some other satisfactory cause.

Comparative Statement of the number of Emigrants arrived at Quebec from 1829 to 1834 inclusive:

1829: 9,614
1830: 18,300
1831: 34,133
1832: 28,204
1833: 12,013
1834: 19,206

Of the number of 30,935 Emigrants who arrived at Quebec in 1834, there were of:
Voluntary emigrants: 29,041
Assisted by parochial aid: 1,892
Number of males: 13,565
Number of females: 9,683
Number of children under fourteen years of age: 7,681

Emigrants who prefer going into Canada by way of New York will receive advice and direction by applying to the British Consul at New York (James Buchanan, Esq.) Formerly this gentleman could procure for emigrants who were positively determined to settle in the Canadas, permission to land their baggage and effects free of custom-house duty; but in a letter dated 16th March, 1835, he says-
"In consequence of a change in the truly liberal course heretofore adopted at this port, in permitting, without unpacking or payment of duty, of the personal baggage, household, and farming utensils of emigrants landing here to pass in transit through this state to his Majesty's provinces, upon evidence being furnished of the fact, and that such packages alone contained articles of the foregoing description, I deem it my duty to make known that all articles arriving at this port accompanying emigrants in transit to Canada, will be subject to the same inspection as if to remain in the United States, and pay the duties to which the same are subjected. I think it proper to mention that all articles suited to new settlers are to be had in Canada on better terms than they can be brought out and such as are adapted to the country."

The difference between proceeding to Upper Canada by way of Quebec and New York, consists chiefly in the circumstance that the port of New York is open all the year round, while the navigation of the St. Lawrence up to Quebec and Montreal is tedious, and the river is only open between seven and eight months of the year. The latter is, however, the cheapest route. But to those who can afford it, New York is the most comfortable as well as the most expeditious way of proceeding to Upper Canada.

Taken from "The Backwoods of Canada Being Letters From The Wife Of An Emigrant Officer Illustrative Of The Domestic Economy Of British America"
by Catharine Parr Traill -London, Printed by W. Clowes and sons, 14, Charing Cross

Extract from-Counsel for Emigrants and Interesting Information from Numerous Sources with Original Letters from canada and the USA 1834
New York, 7th September, 1833

DEAR SIR — I think it would be well if it were better understood on your side, respecting persons coming out to this country, say destined for Upper Canada, or elsewhere westward, this country, say destined for Upper Canada, or elsewhere westward, that they have to pay duties on little articles which they commonly have — say articles of goods beyond their wearing apparel, such as linen not made up, tools, when the individuals are not mechanics, and the tools not in use, books, &c- &c. There is no drawback, you know, on goods going out of this country, when the duties are over fifty dollars, or in any case when they go out by inland navigation, so that our Upper Canada friends (and they are not a few) complain that this is not sufficiently known in Great Britain, in which case they would have sent these matters out by way of Quebec, save in the winter season. I wish very much our people could have this done for them, as this is certainly the best route, both for expedition, safety, and comfort ; besides, this is a port which is open all the year round ; but, as it is at present, it would be well, I respectfully suggest, to inform the emigrating public that there is a custom-house in New York, and a tariff of duties, and that, however kindly disposed the officers in this department of the Government are in dealing with such cases, the duties must be collected. You must show this to the Government Agent for settlers in your town, and I have the honour to remain, dear Sir, your obedient Servant,
British Vice-Consul, and Agent of the Canada Land Company. "Daniel Buchanan, Esq. Liverpool."
Extract from Emigration Practically Considered: With Detailed Directions to Emigrants by A.C. Buchannan Esq. 1828
Should His Majesty's Government decide on a systematic plan of Emigration, no doubt their views will extend to the Cape of Good Hope and. New South Wales, where a considerable number of labourers would find immediate employment; but as I am not practically acquainted with those parts, I must omit offering any remarks respecting them. In speaking of our American Colonies and the United States, I am guided by twenty years' knowledge of both ; and I doubt if there be any person in the United Kingdom who has had more direct intercourse with Emigrants from Ireland to North America than myself. There is scarcely a portion of the American Continent, north of the River Oronboko, together with the West India Islands, both British and Foreign, with which I am not familiarly acquainted.

Emigration to our American Colonies, as well as to the United States, is now very extensive. I compute, that since the Independence of the United States of America, not less than one million and a-half of persons have emigrated from the United Kingdom to the North American Continent : — of which 250,000 have gone from England, 250,000 from Scotland, and one million, at least, from Ireland — five-sixths being from the Province of Ulster, a circumstance chiefly attributable to the comparative degree of comfort the peasants of the North of Ireland enjoy over the other, not so fortunate, portion of that kingdom.
Since 1815, — the year in which Emigration began to find its way towards our own provinces, —the total number of Emigrants from the United Kingdom has been 350,000, of which 300,000 went from Ireland. From the port of Londonderry alone, which is the chief outlet from the counties of Tyrone, Fermanagh, Donegal, and Derry, 38,000 went, say 30,000 to the British Colonies, 8,000 to the United States, and 17 individuals to the Cape of Good Hope. Last year, the total Emigration from the United Kingdom amounted to 40,000, of which 23,000 went to the British Provinces of North America ; and out of that number 16,862 arrived at the port of Quebec. New York and Philadelphia have for nearly half a century been the principal ports of the United States to which Emigrants from the United Kingdom have generally proceeded.

To Ireland the United States is more indebted for a large share of its population than to any other country. Emigration thither has been very great, ever since the Revolution, particularly from the province of Ulster ; and many of the natives of the Sister Island rank high among the citizens of the great Western Republic for wealth and talent, and still feel an affectionate sympathy towards the country of their birth. In all the principal towns, and at all public works, the operative labourers are Irish. When travelling through the western part of the State of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio,I may venture to say that you will find nearly one half the population Irish, or their descendants. In Pitsburgh you will almost fancy yourself in the province of Ulster ; and Baltimore owes its rapid rise to the sons of Hibernia. These circumstances have hitherto drawn, and will continue to draw, a considerable portion of Emigrants to the United States. I am, however, happy to say, that the tide of Emigration has begun to flow in another channel ; and if the measure is followed up by salutary arrangements, under the fostering care of Government, at no distant period our valuable North American Provinces will be found what the Western States are now,' — abounding with an industrious population, and augmenting the physical resources of this great empire, as the latter now do those of the Union.
Extract from The Monthly Review By Charles William Wason 1836
Ulster (County Tyrone, Barony Omagh). — ' Emigration was very considerable about four years ago, but less so latterly ; the accounts from those who have emigrated are not so encouraging; they represent themselves as being in an unsettled state.' — (Mr. Buchanan.) The principal emigration has taken place from the industrious classes, those who had acquired a little money.' — (Mr. Rogers).
'A great many stout labourers went out, almost all who could afford to pay the passage-money.' — (Rev. Mr. M'Sorly, R.C.C.)
'The emigration has been by no means sufficient to reduce the competition for labour ; it should be great and constant to produce that effect.' — (Rev. Mr. Stark.)
'I think, if one out of every four were taken out of the labourers, the rest would have tolerable employment ; but I cannot rely on this calculation, for sometimes they are all wanted, and sometimes very few.' — (Rev. Mr. Stack.) The distance to the nearest seaport is twenty-five miles. The witnesses invariably said, that, if a free passage to America were offered, 'great numbers would be glad to go.' Young women would also gladly accept such an offer. "Since the failure of the spinning business, many young women, who had friends in America, went out ; many more endeavour to get field- labour ; but the number of men is so great, that the women seldom get any employment.' — (Mr. Rogers)."

We must here observe, that we do not look to emigration as an object to be permanently pursued upon any extensive scale, nor by any means as the main relief for the evils of Ireland, but we do look to it for the present as an auxiliary essential to a commencing course of amelioration. The observations of all the persons examined by the commissioners, tend to prove that emigration, and that to a vast extent, is the only remedy that can be immediately applied to Ireland."