Young Immigrants to Canada

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Salvation Army

William Booth was the founder of the Salvation Army in London, England. Booth was very concerned about the poor of that city and wrote a book in 1890, called In Darkest England and the Way Out on his study of the London poor. In his book Booth discussed his solution to the poverty issue in London. He talked of the "submerged tenth" whom he believed should be placed in farm colonies. Once these people were given agricultural training, Booth believed they could be sent to overseas colonies. He said, "It would be absurd to speak of the colonies as if they were a foreign land. They are simply pieces of Britain distributed about the world, enabling the Britisher to have access to the richest parts of the earth."(William Booth, In Darkest England and the Way Out, London:1890, p. 144)

The Salvation Army was helping people to emigrate to Canada late in the nineteenth century. Some young men were first trained on their farm and then assisted to Canada. The numbers grew substantially and by the turn of the century this organization was playing a major roll in the emigration of families and children.

In 1914, G. Bogue Smart, Chief Inspector of British Immigrant Children and Receiving Homes, wrote in his report:

During the past year the Salvation Army has inaugurated their work of juvenile emigration. At Indian Road West, Toronto, their Home for the reception of children is under efficient supervision. The children were found well cared for and comfortably settled.

Denis Crane in 1912 stated:

The Army, it should be added, every year emigrates a good many children for adoption. These are, of course, all under fourteen years of age, and some are as young as five or six. The demand, which is greater than the supply, is more for girls than for boys; which speaks well as to the motives of the adoptive parents. On the Army's side, the work is extremely well done. Children remain for a week or so in the Receiving Home, where they recuperate after their long journey and acquire good domestic habits, and then go on two months' trial before the legal documents are signed. (Denis Crane, John Bull's Surplus Children, London:1915, pp. 64-65).

After the passing of the Empire Settlement Act in 1922, the Salvation Army continued to emigrate under this program. They also brought a good many domestics under this program.

The Salvation Army web site has information on their emigration programs.

If any one has additional information on any of these children please contact me.


UWInfo | Young Immigrants | 19th Century Immigration | Genealogy | Local History

© Marjorie P. Kohli, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, 1997-2010
Last updated: October 26, 2010, and maintained by Marj Kohli