"Emigration to North America"
EMIGRATION TO NORTH AMERICA.
The following information for the use of intending
Emigrants, and of persons having superfluous money, and desirous to use it in
bettering the condition of the poor of the United Kingdom, is founded on
personal experience and observation.
I sailed from Liverpool to New York on the 27th of October, 1850, as a
steerage passenger, in the packet ship "Washington," in
company with 933 fellow passengers, providing myself with
the usual emigrant's fare, and cooking my own provisions; and afterwards
travelled 10,500 miles, within the limits of the United States and
Canada, for the express purpose of ascertaining, by personal observation, the
requirements of emigrants on board ship, and their prospects of employment in
different parts of those countries. My journal of the voyage was printed
in 1851 by order of the House of Commons, and may be had through any
bookseller, price three half-pence. Paper 198-51. To such persons as
desire further information, I recommend J.O'Hanlon's Irish Emigrant's
Guide, price 1s., which may be had, on personal application only, at the
Emigrant Society's Office, Northumberland-buildings, Dublin, or
which I am ready to send free by post on receipt of twelve postage stamps,
directed, before the 30th April, to 5, Whitehall-yard, London, and
after that time to Post Office, Dublin. The Colonization Circular of
the Commissioners of Emigration, price 3d., will also give much useful
The advantages of emigration to North America, rather than to
Australia, wages being about the same in both countries, are as follows: -
1. Because, while the lowest expense of passage for one person
to Australia is 15, six persons can often get for less than that sum to North
America; and while the one in Australia can earn
the means of sending one relation, the six in America can earn the means of
sending for thirty six of their relations, and even more, for they will lose
five months less time in their own voyage out and the voyage home of their money
2. Because in North America a very large number of emigrants are
much more sure of finding employment, owing to their being a much larger
resident population to give employment; since all
the Australian Colonies, Van-Dieman's Land, and New Zealand, put together, do
not contain much over, 350,000 inhabitants, including natives, and between
twenty and thirty thousand convicts,
whereas the population of North America exceeds already 26,000,000
3. Because the price of land is far cheaper, The United States hold
some further inducements than Canada, among which I will mention two, namely: -
1. That wages are higher in all parts of the United States than in
almost any part of Canada, and the winters are less long and severe,
consequently there is a more certain prospect of constant employment the year
2. That, while the lowest price of the worst Government land in
Upper Canada, which is the only part of Canada worth emigrating to, is 6s. 7d.
per acre; in Australia, 1 per acre; the price of the best Government land
in the United States is only 5s. 3d. per acre.
The best parts of North America for emigrants to go are
the peninsula of Upper Canada between Lakes Ontario, Erie, and Huron, the
country back of Toronto, the State of Ohio, Western New York, Western
Pennsylvania, Western Virginia, Indiani, and the more thickly settled parts of
Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, and Wisconsin. In all these States, except Iowa,
railroads and other public works are being carried on extensively, and Iowa
will, no doubt, soon begin.
The usual wages throughout the United
States and the Canadian Peninsula for servant girls are from four to eight
dollars a month, besides their board, a dollar being equal to 4s.
2d. Newly arrived emigrants must not expect four dollars, and
good cooks may, in large houses, after a time get as much as twelve
dollars. The wages of farm labourers, in addition to board, lodging, and
washing, vary from eight to eighteen dollars per month. Daily wages on
public works throughout all
parts of the United States are one dollar a day, or more, in summer, and
from 3s. to 3s. 6d. in winter Board and lodging costs usually about
2 dollars a week, varying from 1 3/4 to 3 dollars a week. The wages of
other persons are as follows, for which my authority is O'Hanlon's Guide: -
s. d. s. d.
Carpenters 6 3 to 8
4 per day and found.
Bricklayers 6 3 to 9
4 per day not found.
2 to 8 4 per day and found.
Plasterers 6 3
to 8 4 per day and found.
6 3 to 12 6 per day not found.
4 2 to 6 3 per day not found.
Boot and Shoemakers 5 2 to 6 3 per day not found.
Clerks and shopmen will with difficulty get situations.
Teachers will be welcome to board and lodging, but very little pay. Young women
emigrating should not omit to take testimonials
Vessels sail for America from Liverpool, London, Glasgow,
Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, and Londonderry. As regards mere ships,
Liverpool ranks highest; as regards treatment of passengers, lowest. The
principal ports of arrival in America are Quebec, Boston, New York,
Philadelphia, and New Orleans.
The advantages of going to Quebec or New Orleans are the
great facility, at a very cheap rate, of reaching far distant points
in the interior without charge of conveyance. From Quebec to Toronto or
Hamilton, 570 miles, be steamboat, the fare is from 8s. to 12s. - time, 3
to 3 1/2 days. From New Orleans, throughout the heart of the Western
States, to Cincinnati, 1577 miles, or to St. Louis, 1212 miles, the deck fare is
from 2 to 5 dollars without provisions; cabin fare, with three meals, bed
and attendance, from 7 to 10 or 12 dollars - time, 7 to 10 days; very go
ahead boats charging more, and going nearly twice as fast. The fare from
St. Louis to Dubuque, in Iowa, a further distance of 426 miles is about
one and a half dollars; and from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh, 485
miles, one dollar, when the river is full. The time to sail for Quebec
is from 1st April to 1st August; to New Orleans, from the end of
September to 1st April. The passage to Boston is usually more expensive by
10s. than to other ports, and the journey from Boston into the interior is
also more expensive.
The advantages of going to New York are the more
abundant choice of the best ships, - with, however, the worst treatment, -
and the variety of railway and other communication from thence into
the interior. There are two principal routes into the interior from New
York; the one by steamboat to Albany, and by railroad on to Buffalo on
Lake Erie, and the other by the New York and Erie Railway to Dunkirk, also
on Lake Erie, the fare either way being at present 4 dollars, - time 33
hours. The canal boats from Albany to Buffalo take so long that there is
no saving of expense in going by them. A third principal route to the west
is by way of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the fare being to
Philadelphia 1 1/2 dollars, and on to Pittsburgh 3 to 5 dollars more.
NEW YORK AND ERIE RAILROAD RATES.
From New York
Time Fare, American Fare,English
Cents s. d.
00 0 16
00 0 16
50 0 18
00 1 0
00 1 0
00 1 0
50 1 11
Baggage FREE to each Full Passenger. 1 dol. 25 cents. per 100 lbs. of extra
Baggage to Dunkirk. 1 dol. 50 cents per 100 lbs. extra Baggage to Detroit,
&c., on Lake Erie. 2 dols. per 100 lbs. extra Baggage to Chicago or
Philadelphia and Baltimore are convenient ports from which
to reach the western parts of Pennsylvania and Virginia, and the borders of
the Ohio River.
The proper time to sail for New York and Philadelphia, for
those who are going far into the interior of the country, or have no homes to go
to near the coast, is from the middle of February to themiddle of August.
Travelling is extremely expensive in
Emigrants should not, as a general rule, suffer
themselves to be so misguided as to pay in Europe their passage any further than
to the port of arrival of their ship in America. They can gain
nothing by this, and lose much. Nevertheless, I believe that Mr. G. Wilkie,
agent of the New York and Erie Railroad Company, now on his way from New York to
Liverpool to make arrangements
for the booking of passengers through to their respective destinations, to be a
fair dealing man.
I feel it my duty strongly to recommend emigrants by way of Liverpool, not
otherwise recommended, to take there passage through Mr. Henry Boyd, in the
office of P. W. Byrnes & Co., 36, Waterloo-road, Liverpool. The lowest price
of passage from Liverpool to the different
American ports varies much as follows: -
s. d. s. d.
Length of Passage
2 10 0 to 3 5 0 41
New York or Philadelphia 2 10 0
to 4 0 0 35 days.
2 5 0 to 3 5 0
Under 14 years of age half price; under 12 months
free. From London the fares are usually 1 higher than the
The best shape in which emigrants can take money to
America is English gold and silver, or Bank of England notes.
English money will pass as readily in America as in England, but
cannot be changed in England without loss. The quantities of provisions
which each passenger 14 years of age is entitled to receive according to
Act of Parliament on the voyage to America, including the time of
detention, if any, at the port of embarkation, are -
Water, at least 3 quarts daily, and the following
"provisions, after the rate per week -
2 1/2 lbs. of Bread or Biscuit, not inferior in
quality to what is usually called Navy Biscuit;
1lb. Wheaten Flour; 5lbs. of Oatmeal; 2lbs. of Rice; 2oz.
1/2lb. of Sugar; 1/2lb. of Molasses.
"Provided always that such issue of provisions shall be
made in advance, and not less often than twice a week, the
first of such issues to be made on the day of embarkation."
Each passenger is entitled to lodging and provisions on board from the day
appointed for sailing in his ticket, or else to one shilling for every day of
detention, and the same for 48 hours after arrival in America.
As regards extra provisions, they must depend very much
on taste and circumstances. In my recent voyage in the "Washington,"
from Liverpool to New York, I took the following extra provisions,
which I found sufficient, and which were the same in quantity and quality
as I had been in the habit of supplying previously to passengers whom I
had assisted to emigrate to America; -
1 1/2 stone Wheaten Flour; 6 lbs. Bacon; 2 1/2 lbs. Butter; 4 lb.
Loaf, hard baked; 1/4 lb. Tea; 2 lbs. Brown Sugar; Salt; Soap; Bread Soda.
These extra provisions cost 10s. 6d. I also took the
following articles, for the use of myself and messmate: -
Large Tin Basin, for washing and
Two deep Tin
Two Knives, Forks, and Spoons
Barrel, and padlock,
I consider the above quantities of extra provisions to be
plenty, so far as necessity is concerned, with the exception of a little vinegar
in summer; a cheese, more flour, a few herrings, some potatoes and onions, and,
in case of children, many little extras, such as suet, raisins, &c., would
be, and were found to be, by many of my fellow-passengers, a palatable and
desirable addition, particularly during the first fortnight, until the stomach
becomes inured to the motion of the ship.
The handles and spouts on all the tin articles should be
rivetted on, as well as soldered. Families would do well to take with them a
slop-pail and a broom. The bottoms of trunks should be kept off the damp floor
by nailing a couple of strips of wood on to them.
The extra articles of clothing most advisable to take, on
account of their superior cheapness and quality in this country, are woollen
clothing, and boots and shoes. Mechanics should take their
Passengers should be particularly cleanly on board a crowded
ship, to prevent ship fever from breaking out.
I wish strongly to urge upon emigrants having friends in
America, and upon individuals in this country aiding poor persons to emigrate.,
the advisability of endeavouring to make arrangements through the Bank of
Ireland, Messrs. Baring, Brothers, or some other safe channel, to have a sum of
money varying from 20s. to 30s. at least for each adult emigrant, deposited in
secure hands at the port of arrival in America, to be given them there, to
enable them to proceed up the country.
In engaging for board and lodging in New York, care should be
taken that a verbal agreement be supported by a printed card of prices, as the
law directs; and payments should be made daily, at least for the first day or
two, and all agreements should be made in dollars and cents: a dollar is equal
to 4s. 2d. sterling, being composed of 100 cents, each of which exactly equals a
Emigrants should go at once into the interior, for the chances of employment are
100 to 1 against them at the seaport. The propensity of emigrants to remain
about large cities, and especially those on the coast, is very much complained
of by Americans, and with too much foundation. There they loiter, days, weeks,
and months, lazy and indolent, spending in the meanwhile their precious money,
and still more precious time, quietly waiting for Providence to turn up
something for them, until their last penny is spent, their trunks are retained
by the lodging-house keepers, and they are turned out beggars on the streets.
Providence seldom helps those who do not strive to help themselves.
Intoxicating drinks are very cheap in America, and there,
as elsewhere, are the greatest curse to the labouring man, and the
main obstacle in the way of bettering his condition. Emigrants would do
well to take the pledge before sailing. As no liquors are to be got
on the voyage, they will then have a beautiful opportunity of breaking
themselves into total abstinence.
RECOMMENDATIONS. - FOR ADVICE AND
DUBLIN. - Emigrants' Protection Society, Northumberland-buildings,and Government
LIVERPOOL, and all other Ports of Departure. - The Government Emigration Agent.
QUEBEC, MONTREAL, and TORONTO. - The Government Emigration Agent.
BOSTON. - Irish Emigrant Society, 4, Congress-square, near the Post Office;
British Consul near the Post Office.
NEW YORK. - Government Commissioners of Emigration, City Hall buildings; Sisters
of Mercy, Houston-street, near Broadway; Irish Emigrant Society, 29, Reade-street
near the City Hall; British Protective Emigrant Society 86, Greenwich-street;
British Consul, Barclay-street, near the City Hall.
PHILADELPHIA. - British Consul, near the Post Office. Subject to the Consul's
approval emigrants may apply to the two following Societies: - American
Emigrant's Friend Society, corner of Front and Water-streets; Rev. R. Thomason,
Emigrant Society and Intelligence Office, corner of Front and Wallnut-streets.
NEW ORLEANS. - British Consul.
SAINT LOUIS. - Irish Emigrant Society, Third-street.
LOUISVILLE. - Irish Emigrant Society.
CINCINNATI. - Dr. Bushnell, Secretary of Relief Union.
ALBANY and BUFFALO. - Agent of Commissioners of Emigration.
FOR PURCHASE OF PASSAGE TICKETS.
LIVERPOOL. - Mr. Henry Boyd, 36, Waterloo Road.
NEW YORK. - George Wilkie, 67, Greenwich-street, for tickets on the New York and
Erie Railroad only.
(Signed) VERE-FOSTER. 5, Whitehall Yard, London, 31st March,
copy of the above information may be had for the asking, by any one who will pay
the postage. *** Please to spread the above information among your neighbours.
Byfield Hawksworth, & Co. Stationers Charing Cross.