UWInfo | Young Immigrants | 19th Century Immigration | Genealogy | Local History
Emigration Letters from the Sussex Emigrants,
who sailed from Portsmouth, in April 1832, on board the ships
Lord Melville and Eveline, for Upper Canada:
Extracts from various writers on emigration to Canada,
and from Canadian Newpapers,[sic] with
references to the letters:
Capt. Hale's Instructions to Emigrants:
and a Gazetteer of the places named in the letters,
sold by John Phillips, Petworth, and ?
Longman and Co. London
Price Two Shillings
In the beginning of the year 1832, a Committee was formed at Petworth, under the sanction of the Earl of Egremont, to afford assistance to such persons as might wish to emigrate to Canada; and the following paper was printed, and circulated in the neighbourhood.
Petworth, March 1st. 1832
Information to Persons desirous of emigrating from this Neighbourhood, to Upper Canada.
In the parish of Petworth, where the Earl of Egremont possesses nearly the whole of the land, his Lordship has signified his intention, of defraying the whole of the expence,[sic] of persons of approved character, wishing to proceed to Upper Canada; and, in any other parish, in proportion to the property he owns in that parish. Encouraged by this liberal support, an engagement has been entered into, for the ship LORD MELVILLE, 425(1) Tons register, A. 1. coppered and copper fastened, and sheathed, with 7 feet height between decks, and extra ventilating scuttles, which is to be comfortably fitted up at Portsmouth, and to sail from thence for Montreal, direct, on the 5th of April next. Passengers to be on board on the 4th at latest. A superintendent (with his wife and family) goes out with Lord Egremont's party, and will conduct them direct to York, in Upper Canada, (in, or near, which city he intends to settle) paying every attention to their comforts on the route.
A surgeon also sails in the ship, whose duty it will be to attend (gratis) to the health of the passengers. The whole of the expence from Portsmouth to York, Upper Canada, is calculated, for adults, 10£. Children under fourteen years, 5£. Infants under 12 months, free.
On these terms, any persons, wishing to avail themselves of the peculiar advantages thus presented, may join the Petworth party, if they signify their intention to do so, on, or before Saturday the 17th, day of March instant; and make a deposit (at the printer's) of 2£, for every adult passenger, and 1£, for every person under 14 years; engaging to pay the remainder, on going on board.
Persons particularly wishing to board themselves, may be conveyed with the Petworth party, from Portsmouth, to York, in Upper Canada, medical attendance, and every other expence included, for 5£; or to Montreal only, should they not wish to proceed any farther, nor to avail themselves during the voyage of the assistance of the superintendent, for 3£. 10. 0; but it is probable that they would find more comfort, and on the whole, less expence, by being boarded under his management. The sea stores contain brandy, porter, and several other articles, likely to contribute to the comfort of the passengers; to be given out, under the direction of the surgeon, as circumstances may require.
Experience has proved, that the practice pursued on many former occasions, of landing emigrants at the first American port, and leaving them with a small sum of money in their pockets, has exposed them to every kind of fraud and imposition; they having been soon pillaged of what they had, or led to squander it idly away, and thus left pennyless, and without employment in a strange land. To guard against this evil, the above plan has been adopted, of conveying the emigrants, AT ONCE, to where work can, with certainty, be found; and placing them under the charge of a superintendent, whose business it will be, in conjunction with the government agent, to attend to them till that object is obtained; little or no money is therefore required by labouring emigrants, on their arrival: still, any sum paid to the Petworth Committee, will be repaid at York, Upper Canada, into their hands, or to their account, as may be desired.
Under these arrangements an excellent opportunity is afforded to respectable unmarried females, who may wish to join any relations or friends, already settled in Upper Canada; as they could be placed under the immediate protection of the superintendent and his wife.
*List of Necessaries for Emigrants to Upper Canada
|Families should take their||Single Men must have|
Pewter plates, or wooden treuchers
Knives and forks, and spoons
Metal cups and mugs
Tea kettles, and saucepans
Working tools, of all descriptions.
(A large tin can, or watering pot would be useful.)
|A bed or mattress|
A metal plate, or wooden trencher
Some kind of metal cup or mug
Knife, fork, and spoon
All, or any of which, may be procured at Portsmouth, if the parties arrive there unprovided.
|* See Capt. Hale's Instructions, p. 72|
Besides various other portable articles in domestic use (especially of metal) according as families may be provided. A cask, not exceeding the size of a hogshead, or 60 gallons, affords an excellent and dry case, for packing such articles as are not likely to be wanted 'till the end of the voyage. All packages should be marked with the owners name, in large letters. Five hundred weight of luggage is allowed to be taken by each individual, above 14 years of age.
The following is the lowest outfit, recommended to Parishes for their Laborers, of course, including such articles as they already possess.
|A fur cap
A warm great coat
A flushing jacket & trowsers[sic]
A duck frock and trowsers
A canvas frock and two pairs of trowsers
|Two Jersey frocks|
Four pairs of stockings
Three pairs of shoes
A bible and prayer book
Women in the same proportion, especially a warm cloak.
All the above may be purchased at Petworth.
It is also a matter of great importance, that emigrants should take with them a good character, (if they should have the happiness to possess one,) fairly written, and well attested; also, copies of marriage or baptismal registers, or any other certificates or papers likely to be useful; the whole to be inclosed in a small tin case.
Soon after the publication of the above, all the passages on board the Lord Melville, were engaged; and the Committee were compelled, for a time, to decline receiving any more deposits:-but the applications continuing to be very numerous, some of them from parishes in the adjoining counties, and from places not originally contemplated, (it having even been proposed to send one party overland from Royston, in Cambridgeshire,) they at length decided upon engaging the Eveline, another first class ship, and made arrangements, that both vessels should be brought up into the harbour of Portsmouth, and sail from thence, on the same day. This accordingly took place, on the 11th of April, the number on board the two ships being as stated hereafter.
The passage was unfortunately longer, and more rough, than is usual at that season, to the great, though unavoidable, discomfort of many on board; but the whole party, excepting one infant in each ship, (who died at sea) reached Quebec, alive, and generally speaking, in good health. At that place, one unfortunate young man was drowned, in consequence of excess in drinking, and another, from the same cause, at Montreal. (See Neal, p. 5) The party quitted the latter place, just two days before the appearance of the cholera there, and (with one or two exceptions) entirely escaped its ravages, during their progress up the country; although it afterwards, unhappily, broke out, with great violence, where some of them had settled. (See Capelains letter, p. 16) After the emigrants arrived at York, they were forwarded to various places in the province, by direction of the Lt. Governor Sir J. Colborne, and either settled on land, or got immediate employment, at high wages. They seem indeed to be so happily distributed, as to afford a hope, that, in the language of some of their own letters, they will not only, "do themselves some good," but also be able, materially to assist the first efforts, of those of their former neighbours, who may hereafter be disposed to join them: and it is not, perhaps, going too far, to indulge the expectation, that some of the settlements formed by these Sussex emigrants will, eventually, become of great importance in the province. One, in the fast improving government township of Adelaide, to which a considerable number of them was sent, has already been called by the Surveyor, "Goatcher," after the name of an industrious, and worthy man, from Pulborough, in this County, who had charge of the party in the Eveline.
It will be seen that the letters and extracts from a chronological series from the day of the sailing of the two ships, from Portsmouth, down to the date of the last letter (November 21st.) Many others have been received, but they are either not so explanatory, as those which are given, or merely contain repetitions of the same facts.
The Committee have taken considerable pains to obtain a sight of all the letters that have arrived, from those who emigrated under their management, and they have not yet seen one, in which the writer regrets the steps he has taken, while expressions to the contrary are very numerous.
They are faithfully given in the very words of the writers, and even where, in some instances, the sense might seem to require a little alteration, that liberty has not been taken: the spelling alone (to save extra trouble, in copying and printing) has been corrected.
LIST OF THE LETTERS:
NAMES MENTIONED IN THE LETTERS:
Chalwin, Robert Charman, Hanna
Crooks, Matthew, Esq.
Evans, Joseph Neuroke
Greetham, I.K., Rev.
Hill, Mr. and Mrs.
Henry, cousin to Frank Nash
Leggett, Elias ?
Lucas, J. and Ned
Martha sister-in-law to Henry Smart
Nash, Mr. and Mrs.
Rhoda - sister of Henry Smart
The Petworth Committee have much pleasure in stating, that (with the exception of two infants, one in each ship, who died on board) all the Emigrants who sailed from Portsmouth, in April last, under their management, arrived in their usual state of health at Quebec. And that the whole party (except two young men who lost their lives through their own imprudence) proceeded up the country, and either settled on land, or got employment at high wages.
Most satisfactory letters have been received from many of the emigrants a collection of which is just published.
Should any considerable number of persons, be desirous of emigrating to Canada, during the approaching season, the Committee will engage a ship for them; and hope, by an improved arrangement of the berths, to provide increased accommodation, especially to families, and by alterations in their former plan, with respect to provisions, and various other matters, to diminish as far as is practicable, the discomforts of a sea voyage.
The rapid currents, in some parts of the River St. Lawrence, have hitherto caused considerable difficulty and lay, in proceeding up the country from Montreal; but they opening of the Rideau Canal, now affords an opportunity of avoiding them altogether: or they may be ascended with ease, and expedition, in a steamer, constructed in a new and peculiar manner, which made its first trips towards the close of the last summer, and was found completely to answer the purpose for which it had been invented, being able to ascend the stream at the same rate as the stages travel by land.
If the Committee send out a party this season, they propose to engage a person as superintendent, who has been accustomed to the sea; for although it would be their wish, that all families, who are desirous of boarding themselves, should do so; still, the assistance of an experienced seaman would be found of the highest importance, in various ways, as well at the time of Embarkation, as during the voyage.
The superintendent would also proceed up to the head of Lake Ontario, and land the different parties at York, or any other port, that might be desired, so as to enable those who have any friends already settled in Upper Canada, to join them, with the least possible trouble and expence.
If therefore, any persons are desirous of availing themselves of the Committee's assistance, in emigrating to Upper Canada, they should apply immediately at Mr. Phillips' Library, Petworth, as it is not their intention to engage a ship, unless the number of applications should be considerable.
The earliest information as to the sailing of ships; the price of passage; and other maters connected with Emigration, may be obtained at mr. Phillips' Library.
J. Phillips, Printer, Petworth.
1. To afford ample space for the passengers, this ship is restricted to carry 76 fewer than allowed by Act of Parliament.
Two new books have been published on the Petworth Emigrants. Assisting Emigration to Upper Canada: The Petworth Project, 1832-1837 and English Immigrant Voices: Labourers' Letters from Upper Canada in the 1830s are by Wendy Cameron, Sheila Haines, and Mary McDougall Maude. For more information check out thePetworth Emigration Project.
UWInfo | Young Immigrants | 19th Century Immigration | Genealogy | Local History
© Marjorie P. Kohli, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, 1997-2002
Last updated November 5, 2002 and maintained by Marj Kohli