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Petworth Emigration, 1832, Letter from William T. Upton to his Mother

From William T. Upton, formerly of Fittleworth, Sussex.

Andross Mills, Nelless Settlement,
September 16th. 1832.

Dear Mother,

I arrived at Montreal on the 1st of June, where we stopt 1 week: from there we came up the country in Durham boats, and steam boats to York, where I stopt another week, waiting for Clifford [his brother] with my box, as it was put into the wrong ship: when he came to York he had lost it, by its being misplaced in one fo the boats. I was in a terrible way about it, but I thought it must be gone either to Hamilton; Ketle Creek; or left in the steam boat: I therefore started to Hamilton, to look for it; and there found it in a storehouse. I was ill at Hamilton for a week; after which time, I was hired by the agent of the Canada Company, to go to a Mr. Mc'Kensey's, at Andross Mills, on the banks of the Grand River, Niagara District, where I now am. I get 12s. 6d. per week, and board, and lodgings. I have been in my situation 9 weeks and [with] what I have made by my wages; I am now worth .... It is a beautiful country, and all young people may make money fast: if they could bring out 100. with them, they would be sure of making a fortune, if they were steady, in a few years. Young men with a wife, without family, is better off than a single man; as there are so many situations for them in gentlemen's families: the woman as housekeeper; and the man as in doors servant; where they get high wages. We have an Englishman and his wife, living with Mr. Mc'Kensey, who has been in the country only 5 years; and is worth now, above 500, and was not worth 5s. when he first came. The mills I am living at, are saw mills: we cut 10000 feet of board per day. I wish Clifford had not been bound to Penfold, as they give money for boys, instead of taking it. I could have had an agreement, drawn up at York, for him to have had 300 dollars at the expiration of his 7 year's apprenticeship, to a carpenter. If you think of sending the other boys out, do not apprentice them, but send them to Hamilton to me. When you write, tell me [whether] you intend them to come or not: if you do, write again, and tell me, when they are to leave England, and I will meet them. I believe Penfold has taken some land, near Guelph; but where, I do not know; so, if you have heard of Clifford, send me his address, when you write, which I hope will be as soon as you receive this; and tell me, how all the family are getting on at home. * * * * * * * * * * I will send you some assistance in the spring, if nothing happens to me. Remember me to all friends, particularly to Mr. and Mrs. J.***, not forgetting G. Hawkins: tell him he will hear more of me by G. Warren. Direct to me, Wm. Upton, County of Wentworth, gore District, to be left at the Post Office, Hamilton, till called for. Give my love to all my brothers and sisters: tell them that can write, to write to me soon: and, if they cannot get a living in England, to come to Canada, where they may soon get an independency.

I remain, my dear mother,
Your affectionate son.
Wm. T. Upton.

N.B. Tell me whether the times are better in England, since the Reform Bill has passed.

From Wm. T. Upton, late of Fittleworth, Sussex, to George Warren, Petworth.

Andross Mills,
Niagara District, Grand River,
September 16th. 1832.

Dear Friend,

* * * * * * * * * * * * I dare say you have heard bad accounts of Canada, from the Petworth Party; for I know that they wrote home in the midst of their trouble in travelling, before they knew what it was, or had time to get situations. I was above a month coming up the country, on account of my waiting at York for my box, which was put into the wrong ship at Portsmouth. I went from York to Hamilton, and, after a weeks illness, and quite broke down for money, I got a situation at a Mr. Mc'Kensey's saw mills, on the banks of the grand river, at 12s. 6d. per week, and board and lodging: I am the lowest, not understanding it: the others [get] from 1. To 32s. Per week. I enquired at York and Hamilton, cabinet makers wages, which is 30s. per week, board and lodging, and plenty of trade to be got. I have been in my place now, 9 weeks, and what with my wages, and what I have made with them, am now worth 8. 10s. There is a man of property in 9 weeks.

* * * * * * * * * If trade is as bad as it was, any one would do better in Canada, for here any one can soon gain an independency. * * * * * * * * Tell J. Lucas that his brother Ned and C. Edwards are living close to me: they get 11s. 3d. per week, and board and lodging, and are quite steady. Write as soon as possible.

I cannot give you a more true account of the price of provisions, and men's wages, than Doyle's Hints to Emigrants. There were plenty given to people about Petworth.

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