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Petworth Emigration, 1832, Letter from Simeon Titmouse to "Jackson"

From Simeon Titmouse, who, together with several others, went from Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, with the Petworth Party.

Dundas, Upper Canada, North America.
Sept. 11th. 1832.

Dear Sir,

After we left home for America, we were seven weeks before we reached Quebec, and about a fortnight after, we arrived where we now are. Our passage was very rough, but we landed safe. This country is quite different from home; but there are better doings for labouring people, here, than at at[sic] home. We can make a better living than we could in England. People are generally engaged by the month, and get about ten dollars for that time. I have been with the principal man of this place a month; and may stay some time. The wife and children are well, at present; but this is rather a sickly country, the people being very subject to ague. We hope we shall, in a little time, like America very well. Corn is about 5s. a bushel. Pork, mutton, beef, &c. 3d. or 3d. Per lb.; capital good tea, from 4s. to 5s. per lb.; pretty good sugar, at about 4d. or 5d. per. lb.; potatoes, about 1s. 6d. per bushel; clothing pretty reasonable, but tailors wages are very high: the women generally make mens apparel; but mark! money, or cash, is very bad to catch. People must be very wary when they first come into the country, otherwise they will be very much imposed on; people often hire new comers for a month, and then take occasion to quarrel with them and turn them off, without their wages; but still, if one place does not do, another will. The appearance of the country is no way enticing, being principally woody. The houses are not so comfortable as at home; as they are all wooden ones; or mostly so. Land may be purchased at 1 dollars to 4 dollars an acre; uncleared; or, in other words, a perfect wood: cleared farms will cost much more an acre. Wm. Bloes has not engaged for the month yet; but has a dollar a day, but the work we have to do is quite different to what it was at home. John Shambrink, and John Racher live about two miles from us: Racher is engaged for a year, 115 dollars his wages; house rent free; acre of land for a garden; and fire wood found gratis. Shambrink has had the ague; and his daughter is living where I am engaged by the month. The country is discouraging at first, but the longer one is in it, the better one begins to like it. Any stout, hard labouring man, with a family, may do better in this country for them, than he can do at home: but remember; he will have to work pretty hard and long days. But abundance of trouble and disappointment await those who come at first, and it takes a little time, and patience to get over them; and many a one loses his life in the encounter, either by sickness or misfortune; but I am happy to tell you, we are all safe and well. Simeon Titmouse and Wm. Bloes live in the same village, (viz. Dundas) and [are] engaged in working as above stated. Summers are hotter here; and we are told, winters are colder, and longer, than in England. A good cow may be purchased from 3 to 4 pounds: apples, in abundance, about 1s. per bushel; but with all these appearances of things being cheap, they are dear enough in proportion to the money we receive; because they often pay wages by shop goods, either eatables, or wearing apparel. Please give our best remembrances and respects to all friends, particularly fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters and remain

Dear Jackson
Yours very faithful
Simeon Titmouse.

Wm. Bloes' wife was confined at Montreal; a little girl; quite well and hearty: this event took place on the 4th. June, 1832: she had a very good time, and got very good friends. Please to let us hear from you as soon as convenient after receiving this: and acquaint us with all particulars, and how you all are. Give my love to John Flanders, and tell him, he might buy 5 acres of land, for what he might give for a rood at home.

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