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Petworth Emigration, 1832, Letter from George Hill

From George Hill, late a Labourer, at Sullington, Sussex.


Ancaster, August 5th, 1832

* * * * * We were six days coming up from Montreal to Prescott, which was a very tedious journey. The boats are drawn up the rapids in some bad places, with 8 or 10 yoke of Oxen. * * * * We have been here 5 weeks: I like the country here very much, but my wife don't seem to be quite so well contented yet. I got work the first day I was here, and have had plenty of work ever since. I got six shillings per day (New York currency) which is 3s. 9d. English money, and be boarded. Farmers and labourers all sit at one table here. We get 5s. per day, English money, and be boarded. I don't wish to persuade any one to come over, for they must expect to see a good many hardships; but I know that a poor man can do a great deal better here than he can at home: he is sure to get plenty of work, if he is steady, and can live cheaper. Puddock and me have rented a very good house at £1. per month, English money. I have bought a cow for £5, and a young sow for 12s. 6d. We work here from sun rise to sun set; but we don't work so hard as we do at home. We rest through the day very often: they are not particular here about losing a little time, as they are at home. Jane[aged 12 years.] is out at service for a year, at 10s. per month, English money. George[aged 10 years] is with a Mr. Gabriel Gurnett[i.e. late of Horsham, Sussex] of Horsham, a saddler. Dear father and mother, we left you almost broken-hearted, but you may be satisfied that we have bettered our condition by coming here. * * * *

From the same

Ancaster, August 6th. 1832
Dear Brother and Sister,

* * * * * I do not persuade you to come against your will: we can live cheaper here than you can in England. There is a great many difficulties in getting here: if you come you will have me to come to: when I came, I had no one to go to. Dear brother, if you do come, it will be the happiest hour I ever knew. * * * * * No beer in this country: pleanty of whisky, 1s. a quart, but that is only 7½d. in our country. We likes the country very well, and it is a pleasant place. * * * * * There is no beggars in this country, nor any carriages. Dear Elizabeth, Sister; here is my kind love to you, and all your family. I hope you will be satisfied that this letter comes from me: make yourself contented, for I think I shall do myself some good; better than if I had been in England. * * * * * I neglected writing to you before, but it was on account of my child being so ill so long: through my having so much trouble, that made me wish I had never left England, but I think I shan't after a while. Almost all my neighbours come from the States, and they likes this country best, &c. &c.

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© Marjorie P. Kohli, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, 1999-2002
Last updated November 5, 2002 and maintained by Marj Kohli