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Monday, April 16, 2007

Fisheries Renewal Plan or Fisheries Destruction Plan?

Last thursday the federal and Newfoundland and Labrador governments announced their plan for a Federal-Provincial Fishing Industry Renewal Initiative. They launched the initiative at a press conference identifying measures both governments claim will “fundamentally change the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery.”

The new plan appears to include many necessary financial and safety changes in support of fishers. In fact it seems to address many aspects of the industry from a commercial perspective, but that’s exactly the problem. While commercial issues needed to be addressed, what is sadly lacking are any measures to ensure the future of the fish being caught and by extension the future of the fishing industry.

Nowhere in the plan is there any mention of an approach to phasing out destructive fishing techniques. Nowhere is there any recognition of foreign overfishing and nowhere is there any mention of the illegal activities or ways of enforcing regulations off the province’s shores.

The initiative spreads around a great deal of money to enhance the industry from a commercial perspective but from an environmental sustainability angle it completely misses the boat (no pun intended).

The new initiative includes:

• Fleet rationalization allowing the combining of fishing enterprises;

• Flexibility on vessel size;

• Elimination of volume restrictions that existed in the former vessel replacement policy;

• Conversion of temporary inshore shrimp permits to regular licenses;

• Changes to capital gains measures meaning potential savings of up to $60 million in taxes in 5 yrs;

• Measures to eliminate trust agreements;

• Improving fishers’ ability to access financing by facilitating the use of licenses as collateral;

• An enhanced fisheries loan guarantee program;

• $3 million to enhance market research and promotion;

• $6 million for fishing industry research and developmental including work associated with the development of new species, new products, new markets and new techniques to harvest, handle, process and market the resources;

• $1.5 million for a voluntary fish auction;

• $2.5 million for Fishing Industry Workforce Adjustment; and

• $750,000 for Occupational Health and Safety initiatives.

The only initiative that could even possibly be seen as an attempt to do something to protect the fish at all is the following item:

• $19.5 million will be invested in fisheries science over the next three years.

While some will say that $19.5 million for science is wonderful, when you consider that $9 million of that (and likely much more with the usual cost of government overruns) will go to keep the science vessel, the CCGS Templeman in service for a few more years. The aging and decrepit vessel is in service now so that’s nothing new, though anyone who’s actually seen it might be amazed it can still float, thus the millions in funding to keep it in service.

The federal and provincial governments have termed their new initiative an “Ocean to Plate” approach to fisheries management when what it might better be termed is a “Boat to Market” approach. I don’t know where the “Ocean” part comes in. Maybe someone should go offshore and ask a cod fish what it thinks of this plan, if they can find one alive.


Anonymous said...

The Article below written by Walter Noel appeared in today's "The Telegram". Please take the time to read this great article, it is quite explanatory. I am doing so because I think THE WAY CANADA IS SET UP TO OPERATE IMPACTS ON EVERYTHING IN THIS PROVINCE, and Walter Noel does a great job of explaining how Canada operates. Until and unless the structure changes the province of Newfoundland and Labrador can expect the status quo or less than the status quo forever.


Equalization is sharing benefits, not generosity

April 9, 2007

Canada’s federal system confers costs and benefits. Equalization is the way the Government of Canada partially compensates provinces which are disadvantaged. Without it, the country would not exist because the disparity in benefits would be intolerable.

Ontario is not an equalization recipient because it has been the prime beneficiary in other ways. Quebec gains the most through equalization and ranks second in other assistance, such as the recent $900 million commitment to the aerospace industry. They have been the big winners because they control the House of Commons. They win through the concentration of business and government activities Ottawa bestows on them through national policies, subsidies and transfers.

The equalization compensation each province receives is determined by its fiscal capacity - its ability to tax. This may be a convenient formula, but is not an accurate measure of the relative economic health of provinces. Two could have the same fiscal capacity but much different levels of employment, debt, cost of providing services, etc.

Newfoundland and Labrador is on the verge of reaching Ontario’s fiscal capacity, but our economy remains far weaker. And taxing ability based on liquidating finite non-renewable resources is different from that based on renewable activities which continue producing indefinitely.

Ontario has not received equalization because it enjoys so many other benefits provided by Ottawa. Alberta is not presently receiving because its economy is doing well - as a result of its oil wealth. Unlike Ontario, its prosperity is not dependent on federal government favors. All the other provinces have been recipients, with Quebec consistently receiving the most, in addition to receiving the second highest share of other benefits. It only has 25 per cent of the population but will receive 33 per cent of all transfers this year.

New ways have to be found to better share the benefits of our federal system. The recent budget increased equalization payments, but also provides for other transfers more beneficial to the large provinces. The agreement to exclude non-renewable resource revenues from equalization helped the provinces affected, but, as a result of this budget, will in future be reduced by 50 per cent and capped. The combined changes will benefit Quebec most, and hurt Newfoundland and Labrador most.

Non-renewable resource revenues should not be included in the formula because they are different from other economic activities. All resources are capital assets, but non-renewables are finite. When they are depleted, when all the minerals or oil is gone, they will no longer provide jobs or revenues. They should not be treated the same as industries such as banking, farming and manufacturing which make Ontario wealthy, with Ottawa’s help.

Canada’s political history has been a fight for the benefits which would not exist if Canada was not a country. Ontario and Quebec would not be in the center of a country, they would not have the excessive concentration of government and industrial activities, and the rest of the country would not be their captive market. There would not be any vehicles built in Ontario; automobile manufacturing would not be the cornerstone of its economy. There would not be very costly financial assistance to help preserve the French identity.

The equalization program is either welfare, or it is an attempt to share the benefits of Confederation. If it is the former, as Ontario would have us believe, the recipients should be thankful for what they receive. If it is the latter, it should be equitable. Any proper study of Canada’s economy would demonstrate that it is the latter, and it fails to share adequately. Such a study would document just how much other Canadians contribute to Central Canada’s prosperity.

Years of equalization payments have not changed the fact that Newfoundland and Labrador contributes more financially to the country than it receives. The federal government might spend more than it collects here directly, but our contribution to the economies of other provinces far exceeds their contribution to ours.

We contribute through buying goods and services from Ontario and Quebec, instead of from other countries where they could be obtained more cheaply. We contribute our own taxes, in addition to those collected elsewhere because of economic activities we create. We contribute through exploitation of our resources, in particular through providing far more revenues for Quebec than for ourselves as a result of the Churchill Falls Hydro project - because Ottawa refused to enforce our right to transmit power across Quebec, or to compensate us for the loss. We contribute through the inflated food prices we pay to subsidize mainland businesses. We contribute through the enormous debt we’ve accumulated to finance the purchase of goods and services from Central Canada.

The country would cease to exist without equalization. Ontario and Quebec would be the biggest losers. The other provinces would be better off financially as independent countries or American states. As Americans, citizens of the smaller provinces would also have more say in national affairs through effective Senate representation.

The provinces which benefit least from Confederation made some progress in recent years through increasing their share of federal transfers and having non-renewable resource revenues kept out of equalization calculations.

Unfortunately, the latest Conservative budget reverses the progress made by these provinces. Prime Minister Harper is obsessed with winning a majority government. Voters in the large provinces of Ontario, Quebec and Alberta are the constituency he is courting. His recent budget initiatives to win votes in those provinces will be very costly for the others. The country needs more equitable sharing of the economic consequences of Confederation, but the Harper government is moving in the opposite direction.


Anonymous said...

If "Nowhere in the plan is there any mention of an approach to phasing out destructive fishing techniques and nowhere is there any recognition of foreign overfishing and nowhere is there any mention of the illegal activities or ways of enforcing regulations off the province’s shores, WELL THEN how is it going to revitalize the fishing industry?

Are there any politicians and bureaucrats out there, who had their hands in the drawing up of this Fisheries Renewal Plan or is it Fisheries Destruction Plan, willing to expound a little on this blog on how it will make things better and bring back our fish?

Anonymous said...

Are there any politicians and bureaucrats out there, who had their hands in the drawing up of this Fisheries Renewal Plan or is it Fisheries Destruction Plan, willing to expound a little on this blog on how it will make things better and bring back our fish?

April 17, 2007 11:58 AM

My Freind can you ask yourself this simple question ,"why would canada want this."Of course it doesn't want this .Think of what they stand to lose if Newfoundland and Labrador were to become the powerhouse's that thier potientail show.
Think of the labour shortage that would happen in Alberta,Mr Harper's home town.If you think that Albertians don't want Newfoundlander's and labradorians working there to create a better Alberta,your sadly mistaken.This is a province that is taking unskilled labour from the Phillipians .Why would they want to lose the highly skilled workforce from Newfoundland and Labrador that they know they "CANNOT" replace.
The Federal Governement "WANTS" the destruction of the fishery so that this will end away of life .
Our Culture ,History ,and music tie into the Fishery.Kill that and they get to turn The Province into the strip mine that they want.If people don't see this ,then I think someone should re-set the alarm clock.Its called "genocide" and if you look around and see what is happening ,you'll relise that too

Nazi in Canada do not wear Brown shirts .They wear suits and ties, so they look respectable and don't scare people!!!!

The "CONSERVATIVE SCUM"in Ottawa Fit in real Good!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks! But Ottawa will never be able to slip away from the genocide of the fishery that we brought into Canada, they will have to pay for it one way or another. It is time they fessed up to it and addressed the problem now. The carbon footprints are there, and they will not be able to slip out under this one as too many people are aware of what went on.

Anonymous said...

Of course it's all Ottawa's fault.

newfoundlander have NEVER over-fished in the 500 years they've been there.
Noooooo!! Never!!

It's everyone else.

Anonymous said...

No matter what anyone presents you people with it's never enough.

Be it the government, oil companies, etc,.........it's never enough.

Anonymous said...

Oh just go to the States and be done with it then....we're tired of yer whining.

Anonymous said...

No, you only present us with 1 per cent of what it is worth, you lying thieves!

Anonymous said...

I would gladly become part of the United Stated over being aligned in a federation of Canada, but I don't think that would be necessary given our location and our resources. If we can get our independence from Canada and get back the resources from Ottawa that they are holding from us, we would do fine Thank You Very Much. But that could only be wishful thinking, that will never happen unless, of course Quebec seaparates and it just might be possible then. Hopefully that will be the scenario in the not too distant future.

By the way you speak like you think we are happy to be part of Canada and you seem very smug in your thoughts, that is the feeling I get from the sarcastic way you write, the truth is we are very unhappy because we have been robbed blind and left destitute.

Anonymous said...

Yeah...just like you managed them just fine before Confederation when you were all destitute and diseased.

Who did you blame back then??

Oh yes....the merchants in St John's, the British govt...everyone but yoursleves.

That line is gettin' old.

Anonymous said...

England! And we were no more diseased than any of you. Communicable diseases were brought to this territory.

Anonymous said...

Communicable diseases were rampart all over the world. It is only since the 20th Century that we been efficient in eradicating some of them, especially the one that affected the Western World. They were just as common in every part of North America asthey were in Europe. There was no bias shown there. If people are moving from place to place, so too, do their diseases.

Anonymous said...

Artfull dodger said....

Just a thought here, but a good way to rid the site of trolls is to simply ignore them, they will soon become bored and disappear. They are merely baiting in order to garner an angry response. It's a strange form of entertainment, but alas there are all kinds of strange people lurking the internet.

Artfull dodger

Anonymous said...

Oh now the DISEASES are our fault too!! hahaha.

What about the disease and filth you all gave the Beothuks??

Yeah...not so proud of that little chapter are ya?

Anonymous said...

Anon of April 18, 2007 2:06 PM - You obviously know very little of your early history. Please become educated and thus informed.



Doukhobors Quarantined at Lawlors Island, 1899

From 1866 to 1938, the quarantine station at Lawlor's Island, Nova Scotia treated sick immigrants and prevented the spread of infectious diseases at the mouth of Halifax Harbour. The following article describes the quarantine of Doukhobor immigrants at Lawlor's Island in February 1899. Reproduced from Koozma J. Tarasoff's article, "The Doukhobors at the Quarantine Station on Lawlor's Island" in ISKRA No.1869 (Grand Forks: U.S.C.C., March 10, 1999).


The first two of four shiploads of Doukhobors in January 1899 - the S.S. Lake Huron and S,S, Lake Superior - were detained for quarantine inspection on Lawlor's Island near Halifax, Nova Scotia. Quarantine inspection was needed to check the deadly threat of epidemic diseases in a major port city. Because the first ship was free of infectious diseases, it proceeded to Saint John, New Brunswick on January 23rd where these Russian dissidents boarded seven trains west. However the second shipload was not so fortunate; it had one case of smallpox and had to be detained for 27 days before proceeding west. Count Sergei Tolstoy was in charge of this ship (as he was with the fourth and last ship which went to Grosse Ile near Quebec City in June) and played a very helpful role in their settlement in western Canada.

The Lawlor's Island Quarantine Station dates back to 1866 when the steamship S.S. England entered the Halifax Harbour carrying 1202 immigrants. The Port Health Officer came on board and learned there were 46 deaths at sea and that 106 of the passengers and crew were suffering from cholera. The Officer immediately ordered the ship into quarantine at a temporary hospital on MacNab's Island and the epidemic was checked.

That summer, construction on a permanent Quarantine Station began at the adjacent Lawlor's Island located in the south-eastern portion of Halifax Harbour between MacNab's Island and Eastern Passage. It is approximately two miles in circumference and is surrounded by shallow tidal flats except at its north-western end where the remains of the old quarantine wharf exist today. The facility served tens of thousands of new migrants before being closed in 1938; its need had declined as world-wide vaccination programs came into use and there was an increased awareness of health measures and communication between the major ports of the world. The quarantine station on Lawlor's Island served this end. Today only its foundations remain. In a flashback to the early years, Dr. Ian A. Cameron of Halifax, Nova Scotia, writes about the Doukhobors at Lawlor's Island during that early winter of 1899. (The Nova Scotia Medical Bulletin, June/August 1983, pages 86-87.):

The Doukhobors on Lawlor's Island

The second boatload of Doukhobors under the leadership of Count Sergius Tolstoy arrived in Halifax Harbour on January 28, 1899. When the ship came to anchor between George's and MacNab's Island, there was a yellow flag flying from its foremast requesting the port health officer to come aboard. Doctor Montizambert, the chief quarantine officer for Canada, boarded the vessel. He discovered that an eight year old child had developed smallpox on board. However, since the extreme range of incubation of smallpox was 14 days, Doctor Montizambert was concerned that the child had been infected on board ship. The yellow flag was hoisted to the top of the main mast and the ship was ordered to proceed to the quarantine dock on Lawlor's Island.

Having been exposed on the ship, Doctor Montizambert went into quarantine himself and delegated the duty of the coordinating the quarantine effort in Halifax to Drs. McKay and Carleton Jones. This was the largest quarantine effort to be attempted in Halifax. Despite modern conveniences like telephone communication, Doctor Montizambert faced major problems. He had to provide suitable accommodations on Lawlor's Island for in excess of 2,000 people in the middle of winter and there was only room for 1,400. Building materials and carpenters were requested and although the supplies arrived promptly, no carpenters would risk possible exposure to smallpox. A second problem was communication: there was no translator and to make matters worse, Count Tolstoy "lacked high qualities of executive talent". An appeal was circulated in Halifax for a Russian interpreter and immediately a Joseph Brunstein offered to go into quarantine. This was an invaluable aid to Doctor Montizambert. Through the interpreter the Doukhobors indicated that they would build the additional housing that was needed. In four days the Doukbobors completed the necessary accommodation and so the remaining personnel were transferred to the island. A kitchen and an enlarged bathhouse were also constructed with the assistance of the Doukhobors.

The next problem was getting the bathhouse and disinfecting unit operational and starting the fumigation process on the ship. Dr. Montizambert ordered the quarantine engineer, Mr. William Lease, to begin. He hesitated on the grounds that he was responsible to the Collector of Customs in Halifax. When contacted, the Collector of Customs deferred to Ottawa and after a brief bureaucratic delay the appropriate telegram arrived authorizing the work to begin at once.

Initially it was feared there would be an enormous food bill for this large scale quarantine effort. The authorities were delighted to discover that the Doukhobors were vegetarians and that onions constituted a large portion of their diet. They were even more relieved to discover that the S.S. Lake Superior had left Batum with provisions for 45 days and that they had only been at sea 23 days. Another problem that did not materialize was obtaining proper accommodations for Saloon, Intermediate and Steerage passengers. The Doukhobors made no such distinction and Count Tolstoy was treated in the same manner as the most illiterate peasant.

The Fumigation Disinfection Process

The S.S. Lake Superior and its cargo was fumigated with sulphur under pressure for 24 hours. The Doukhobors' clothing was disinfected by dry heating to temperatures of 69'C followed by steam to a much higher temperature. (In the moist state the virus is destroyed at 60'C for 10 minutes, but in the dry state it can resist 100'C for 5 to 10 minutes.) The sheepskin coats worn by the Doukhobors posed a problem in that they would not withstand the steam. At first Doctor Montizambert considered leaving them in the ship for sulphur fumigation. But a new formaldehyde device arrived and so the sheepskin coats were disinfected by this much more effective method.

The passengers and crew of the ship were disinfected sixty at a time in the enlarged bathhouse. While they were in the bath house their clothing was disinfected. Despite rapid drying the clothing was still damp when the Doukhobors made their midwinter trek back to their quarters, some of which were a mile or more away.

Fortunately the weather co-operated but then zero temperatures set in and the disinfecting process had to be discontinued temporarily. This was the only major delay. The quarantine regulations had been satisfied by February 18, 1899. Smallpox had not developed and the one case of pneumonia that occurred recovered uneventfully. As a rule quarantined groups left some of their -
numbers on the island, but the Doukhobors were an exception. Not only did they all survive the rigors of Lawlor's Island in winter, but their numbers were increased by one when for a brief period the quarantine station became a maternity hospital.

As departure time approached, Doctor Montizambert's thoroughness and efficiency was once again apparent. Before the passengers and crew could re-board the S. S. Lake Superior, they had to present a red ticket if they had been vaccinated and it had 'taken'. A white ticket indicated the first vaccination had not taken and they had been revaccinated and a yellow ticket indicated the disinfection process had been completed.

Just prior to departure, Count Tolstoy was interviewed and told the Halifax Herald that "the exile on Lawlor's Island was not to be compared with the rigors of Siberian banishment, but still the three weeks spent there had been dull exceedingly." The Doukhobors left Halifax Harbour singing psalms at the ship's rails, bound for Saint John and new homes in Western Canada, and thus ending a successful and happy chapter in the history of Lawlor's Island.

Contents of the Doukhobor Genealogy Website Copyright © 1999-2007 Jonathan J. Kalmakoff. All rights reserved.

Anonymous said...

Anon of April 18, 2007 2:06 PM - You obviously know very little of your early history. Please become educated and thus informed.



Shiploads of people from different countries would come across the ocean in the hopes of starting a life in the new world. Some settled in New Brunswick, but most moved on to other parts of Canada and the United States. Regardless of their destination, if they entered North America via the Saint John Harbour, they had to be inspected by quarantine staff. From 1785 to 1942, Partridge Island served as North America's first Quarantine Station to prevent the spread of diseases.

The Quarantine Process

All sick people and those in contact with the sick were brought to the island. On the island, they were subjected to a kerosene shower «"Item #1A on Map"», followed by a hot water shower to wash away the oil. Their belongings were steam cleaned. They were to spend the remainder of their days on the island until they got better. Those who died were buried in one of the six graveyards on the island.«"Item #31 on Map"»

Tested Beyond the Limits

In 1830, there were so many immigrants inflicted with fever and «smallpox» that they were housed in army tents. Hospitals and pest houses were built, and were often overflowing. The most tragic years for Partridge Island were 1845-1847, when Irish immigration peaked. Dr. George Harding reported one day that he had over 2500 immigrants in quarantine. Sick people were forced to lay on bare ground, despite the weather.

This painting by Ray Butler depicts Dr. J.P. Collins attending the Irish in June 1847.

The next peak of immigration through Saint John was in the 1890's. Dr. John E. March reported that by 1894 he had inspected 74,906 immigrants and crewmen. Many of these immigrants were Jews from Eastern Europe and Russia.

Celtic Cross Memorial

In memory of the Irish immigrants who died and were buried on the island in 1847, a Celtic Cross was built in 1927 by a man named George McArthur--who was later buried at the base of the cross in 1932. «"Item #19 on Map"»

For more information about «The Great Irish Famine...».

Another important Quarantine Station was the island of «Grosse Île», located close to the «Port of Québec».

Interested in further stories of immigration in Atlantic Canada? Visit «Pier 21», located in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

All pages © Heritage Resources and New Brunswick Community College - Saint John.
Partridge Island - Immigrants
Last updated: 09/07/2000 22:56:05

Anonymous said...

Anon of April 18, 2007 2:06 PM - You obviously know very little of your early history. Please become educated and thus informed.


Immigrants to Canada
UWInfo | Genealogy | Local History | Young Immigrants | 19th Century Immigration | Sessional Papers

Famine Information From the Boston Pilot
The following information was provided by Michael J. O'Neill. It was mostly extracted from the newspaper the Boston Pilot.

Additional Names of Emigrants Who Died Without Relatives at Grosse Isle, Quebec
Taken from the 16th of May to the 21st of October 1847. This was published in Boston, MA, Saturday, Dec. 11, 1847. Name Ship
Andrew Layton Argo
James M'Kay M of Abercorn
Martin Sullivan Sir H. Pottinger,
Patrick Sheehan John & Robert
John Irwin John & Robert
Catherine Frazer Broom,
Alice Mahan Ann Kenny
Mary A. M'Kay Yorkshire
Patrick Carns Broom
James O'Brien Johnston
M. O'Donoghue Pandora
Edward English Pandora
Joseph Pogue Araininia
Eliza. Thompson Araininia
Furlong Progress
Bridget Lennon Progress
Thomas Birne Progress
Patrick Walsh R. Adelaide
Mary Walsh Avon
Lawrence Gilmour XL
Timothy Brennan John Munn
John Birne John Munn
Mary Clancy Westmoreland
John Blake Zealnts
Dennis M'Inerney Ellen Sampson
Nicholas Smith Yorkshire
Michael Sullivan Sir H. Pottinger
Edward Quinn Lotus
Mary M'Carvey Jantor
William Coveney Triton
William Bryon Jantor
Mary Cranney Lady Cambell
Bartholomey Hare Marmus
Peter Walsh Free Trader
Mary Hare Larch
Mary Ranigan Ganges
Bridget Cain Maritius
Mary Coffey Larch
Anthony Burke Erin's Queen
Margaret Foley Ellen Sampson
Michael Flynn Yorkshire
Bridget O'Malley Erin's Queen
James Tucker Larch
Bridget Wallace Virginia
George Gorden Saguenay
Bridget Corcoran Washington
Richard Dwyer Washington
John Troy Odessa
William Irwin John & Robert
Daniel Cline Naoom
Michael Conway Orderly
Edward Earle Sew. Hamilton
Connaagter Sew. Hamilton
Dennis Burns Covenanter
Denis Conway Sisters
Sarah M'Aveney Pursuit
Eliza Jackson Junior
Cochrane Junior
John Morintry Sir H. Pottinger
Thomas Murphy Odessa
Wm. Broderick Naoirana
Denis Burns John Muna
Ann Mylan Free Trader
Richard Mechan Covananter
Ther. Dolly & Margt Covananter
John Cennedy Bridgetown
James Keenan Erin's Queen
John & Mary Fox Virginia
Ellen Courtin Saguenay
Sarah Hodgins Odessa
Catherine Casey Covenanter
Johanna Loughlin Covenanter
John Cassin Sobroan
Peter M'Donough Larch
Anthony Manly Canges
Johanna Mead Ann Kenny
Florius Sullivan Bridgetown
Catherine Rine Superior
Bridget Lawless Saguenay
James Priest Wellington
Araon M'Fadden Sir R. Peel
Isabella Tombe Sir R. Peel
Edward Gilroy Argyle
Cath. M'Garachen Nurse
Hugh Hetherington Dykes
Martin Highlands Emigrant
Michael Murphy Avon
James Dooley Washington
Comelium Jeffry Free Trader
Bryan Ready Greenock
Mary Clark Champion
James English Coromandel
Honora Callacher Sir H. Pottinger
R. and Peter Hay Broom
Thos. Roblinstall Yorkshire
Samuel Long Rankin
Alex. Sutherland Agnes
Martin Soucha Aberdeen
Robert Stoba Lady Milton
E Connell & sisters Urania
J. & M. Denzon Columbia
Rich. Griffin & Bros. Clarendon
Patk. & Edw. Syrell Syria
Dennis Courtney Agnes
Dr. John Benson Syria
Catherine Coulin Achilles
Thad. Regney Clarendon
James Watson Unicorn
John Brien Avon
Mr. Tracey Ann Kenny
Thomas Robinshall Yorkshire
Robert Tweedy Broom
Cath. & Ellen Sool Lady Cambell
Daniel M"Donald Ann Rankin
Catherine Brady Superior
Mary, John & Alice M'Cabe Superior
Sarah Hayes Jessie
Not Known, one orphan no ship
Cath. And E. Wax no ship
Sarah Taylor Westmoreland

Emigration to Canada-Letter from the Archbishop of Quebec
"The following important letter relative to the prospects and condition of poor Irish emigrants arriving in Canada has been addressed by his Grace the Catholic Archbishop of Quebec, to the Catholic Archbishops and Bishops of Ireland. We deeply regret to find that so many of our unfortunate countrymen have fallen victim to disease and want. They fled from Ireland to escape those foul destroyers: but alas! they were inadequately provided with the means to make a healthy or comfortable voyage, or to locate themselves in their adopted country, so as to be able to reap the reward of their toil and industry:--"


Quebec, the 9th June 1847.

"MY LORD AND VENERABLE BROTHER--The voice of religion and humanity imposes on me the sacred and imperative duty of exposing to your Lordship the dismal fate that awaits thousands of the unfortunate children of Ireland who come to seek in Canada an asylum from the countless evils afflicting them in their native land.

Already a considerable number of vessels overloaded with emigrants from Ireland have arrived in the waters ot the St. Lawrence. During the passage many of them weakened beforehand by misery and starvation, have contracted fatal diseases, and for the greater part have thus become victims of an untimely death.

This was but the natural result of their precarious situation. Crowded in the holds of the vessels, unable to strictly adhere to the rules of cleanliness, breathing constantly a putrid atmosphere, and relying frequently for nourishment upon insufficient and very bad provisions, it was morally impossible to escape safe and sound from so many causes of destruction.

Anchoring at Grosse-Isle, about 30 miles below Quebec, where they are compelled to perform a quarantine, the transatlantic vessels were most commonly infected with sick and dying emigrants. Last week at that station more than 2,000 patients, of whom scarcely more than half could find shelter on the island. The others were left in the holds of their respective vessels, in some cases abandoned by their own friends, spreading contagion among the other healthy passengers who were confined in the vessels, and exhibiting the heartrending spectacle of a morality three times greater than what prevailed ashore.

Our provincial government has undoubtedly manifested the greatest zeal and most parental anxiety in assisting the unhappy emigrants, but yet could not in due time employ the requisite precautions to meet their manifold wants. The consequence is, that vast numbers sighed, and do still sigh, in vain after the charitable care so necessary to the preservation of human life.

Already more than a thousand human beings have been consigned to their eternal rest in the Catholic cemetery, precursors of thousands of others who will rejoin them if the stream of emigration from Ireland continues to flow with the same abundance.

One Catholic clergyman alone, in ordinary circumstances, ministered to the spiritual wants of the quarantine station; but this year the services of even seven at a time have been indispensably required to afford to the dying emigrants the last rites and consolations of their cherished religion. Two of these gentlemen are actually lying on the bed of sickness, from the extreme fatigues they have undergone and the fever they have contracted in visiting the infected vessels and the hospitals on the island to accomplish the duties of their sacred ministry, and gladden the last moments of the Irish emigrant.

The details we receive of the scenes of horror and desolation of which the chaplains are daily and ocular witnesses, almost stagger belief and baffle description; most despairingly and immeasurably do they affect us, as the available means are totally inadequate to apply an effectual remedy to such awful calamities.

Many ot the more fortunate emigrants who escape from Grosse-Isle in good health, pay tribute to the prevailing diseases at Quebec or Montreal, and overcrowd the hospitals of these two cities, where temporary buildings are erected for the reception of a greater number, without still affording sufficient accommodation.

Amid the present confusion, we have had neither leisure nor opportunity to ascertain the number of orphans and families that are thrown for support on public charity.

I deem it necessary to mention that those who have escaped from the fatal influence of disease, are far from realizing on their arrival here, the ardent hopes they so fondly cherished of meeting with unspeakable comfort and prosperity on the banks of the St. Lawrence. To attain so desireable an end, they should possess means which the greater number have not, and which cannot be rendered available and efficacious, unless emigration be conducted on a more diminished scale.

I submit these facts to your consideration, that your lordship may use every endeavor to dissuade your diocesans from emigrating in such numbers to Canada, where they will but too often meet with either a premature death, or a fate as deplorable as the heartrending condition under which they groan in their unhappy country. Your lordship will thus open their eyes to their true interests, and prevent the honest, religious, and confiding Irish peasantry from being the victims of speculation and falling into irretrievable errors and irreparable calamities.

I have the honor to remain, my lord and venerable brother, with sentiments of profound respect, your most humble and obedient servant."

Archbishop of Quebec

The Emigrants at Quebec
"The condition of many of the Irish immigrants who have reached the St. Lawrence in British ships is truly deplorable. The quarantine station is at Grosse Island and about fifty miles below Quebec. Accounts from that place, state that during the week, ending the 13th inst., out of 1440 sick in the hospital and on shipboard, no less than 249 had died. On the 19th inst., there were 29 vessels at quarantine, and sickness and death were on the increase. The Quebec correspondent of the Montreal Herald wrote, on Monday last 21st ult., that three or four more ships had arrived at Quarantine with deaths and sickness.

This season, (May and June) 29,248 settlers from Europe had reached Quebec and Montreal, up to last Monday, and many more were at quarantine. Four Liverpool ships, on the 20th, brought 1535 settlers, and the Agnew, from Belfast, 413. Dr. Douglas, Health Officer, Grosse Isle, writes to Quebec that all the seamen of the Elizabeth and Pursuit, from Liverpool, are sick in Hospital save one; that there have been 70 deaths in the Lotus from Liverpool; that the Rose McKinlay, had nearly 80 deaths; that the Lady Flore from Cork had buried 35, and 50 were still sick, and the Jesse from Limerick had buried 30, and 45 remained sick; also, that his mate and ten of the seamen were ill."

Emigration Deaths
"We are indebted to the Montreal Herald of the 6th and 7th inst., for the following particulars on immigration disease and death. Eight ships arrived at Grosse Isle, the quarantine ground, fifty miles below Quebec, on Saturday, July 3; they brought 2259 passengers from Ireland and England; 132 emigrants had died while crossing the Atlantic; the captain, mate, and 42 passengers of the Lively, from Cork, were down with fever, as was the Captain of the Venillia, from Limerick. Five ships, with over 1,000 passengers, arrived the day before. The deaths, at quarantine averaged 25 per day; clergymen, physicians and sea-captains, were sickening and dying of the epidemic.

There arrived at Quebec, during the four days, up to the 5th inst., over six thousand passengers in 25 ships, namely--956 from Bremen, 953 from Liverpool, 851 from New Ross, 771 from Newry, 446 from Dublin, 393 from Glasgow, 474 from Belfast, 274 from Waterford, 213 from Southampton, 110 from Donegal, and 35 from Youghal."

Excerpt from a Letter to the Editor of the Boston Pilot from Historian Thomas Mooney
....."Look at the dreadful scenes of the quarantine and fever hospitals near Quebec. It takes frequently from twelve to twenty days for a sailing vessel to get up the river St. Lawrence from the Atlantic, though the distance is but five hundred miles. If the Government (British) cared anything about the people crammed into these emigrant ships, they would have a couple of their idle war steamers to tug the vessels right up, which could be done in forty hours, instead of taking, as it now does, two or three weeks. Half the misery and sickness would thus be saved to the wretched emigrants. I met an Irshman in Oswego, who informed me that he and his friends got across from Liverpool to Quebec in thirty days. The ship was allowed by the Government agent in Liverpool, TO PACK INTO THE HOLDS SEVEN HUNDRED PASSENGERS; yet they arrived all healthy save a few children; and for this trivial cause the whole passengers were obliged to remain in quarantine nineteen days, in the course of which time, half of them became sick, and many died, though they had been permitted to land, they would all have gone to their destination in spirits and health."............

Thomas Mooney
On Lake Ontario
October 22, 1847

Another Update
"We quote the following particulars of the progress of fever and death in Quebec, and Montreal, from the Quebec Freeman's Journal of the 16th July:

We are sorry to announce the death of the Rev. W. Chaderton, Protestant Minister. He contracted the disease in his zealous and indefatigable exertions in attending the sick and dying of the communion of the Church of England, at the Marine Hospital.

With the like sorrow for the worthy deceased, we regret to inform our readers that the Rev. Mr. Roy, Curate of Charlesbourg, is also dead from the spreading epidemic, contracted during his attendance on the sick at Grosse Isle. We are personally acquainted with Mr. Roy, and can vouch that the Catholic Church in Canada, did not possess a more amiable, charitable, zealous member. His deportment was such as to command and merit the respect of all men. The vacuum caused by his death will be long felt in the parish.

We are also informed that on Tuesday last, the Rev. Mr. Caroff, priest of the Seminary of St. Sulpiee, died of fever at the Hotel Dieu, in Montreal.

The Rev. Mr. McInerney, a Catholic Clergyman, who resided with the Curate at La Chine died lately in consequence of his great fatigues and the disease he contracted in his labors of charity in administering comfort to the bodily and spiritual wants of the sick and dying.

One of the Nuns, Saurs Grises, is also dead from the same causes.

The Rev. Mr. Willoughby, Protestant Clergyman of Montreal, has fallen a sacrifice to the malady. The Rev. Messrs. Lonsdell and Parkin, ministers of the Church of England are lying sick with the fever which they both contracted in discharging their clerical duties at the Quarantine Station.

Another paper says:--

In 13 vessels, containing 4,950 passengers, there were 434 deaths, or nearly one-tenth part of the whole; of the remainder, many are sick.

It appears by a statement in the Quebec Mercury of Tuesday, that the total number of deaths at Grosse Isle up to the 30th June, was 821; on board ships and buried on the island, to July 8th 715; died at sea, 2,559; making a total of 4,095.

The number of deaths at the Marine Hospital, from the 3rd to the tenth instant, was 54; discharged 228; remaining 827.

The Montreal Witness of Monday says it is asserted by the best medical authorities, that there is scarcely a street in the city in which there are not two or three cases of fever, and that the only effectual means of stopping the disease would be the removal of all the sick at once." -------

From The Boston Pilot, December 4, 1847------Emigration. Comparative Mortality in Canada and the States.
"The Kingston (Canada) News gives some interesting particulars of the comparative number of emigrants who have died in Canada and the States. That paper alludes in an especial degree to those arriving at New York and Quebec.

The number of passengers who arrived by sea at the port of New York between the 5th May and the 10th September was 101, 545. Of those nearly 7,000 came under the immediate charge of the Commissioners, either through disease or indigence.

The bill of mortality embraced 700, of the whole emigration, say 1 in 145; or of those which came under the direct charge of the commissioners, 10 per cent.

The arrivals at Grosse Isle and Quebec have been around 80,000 in number. Of this mass of emigrants it is within the mark to say that 12,000 or a little less than one-sixth, have fallen victims to disease, at Grosse Isle, Quebec and Montreal, independent of the number of deaths on shipboard and along the route westward of the last named city. These added will present a terrible total of fully 20,000!--one out of every four who left their native land during the season to find a new home in this Province!

Let us present the comparison in the enormity of its disproportion.

The casualties attending the emigration via New York, were 1 to 45; the same via Quebec, 1 to 4.

We believe that when a report of the emigration at this port (Boston) is made, it will be found that even a less number have died than at New York. This may be accounted for by the timely precaution taken by our City Authorities to procure a hospital for the sick immediately on their arrival. And we say it with pride and pleasure, that in no part of the country are the poor creatures attended with more care that at the hospital on Deer Island (Boston). Had the Canadian Authorities taken the same precautionary means that were taken in New York and Boston, hundreds of lives might have been saved. The News well remarks: "A fearful responsibility appears to rest somewhere. It is almost impossible to imagine that the dreadful mortality of the present season was utterly unavoidable and beyond human control."

"We copy the following particulars of the progress of death in Montreal, from the Minereve.

Saeur Marie Rosalie Barbeau, (Saeur Marie) on Wednesday, at mid-night aged 47 years and 7 months. This is the fourth victim of fever among the Sisters of the Grey Nunnery. Sister Bruyere and Caron are now at the last extremity, and sixteen others are confined to their beds. Another Policeman died on Monday, and there are eleven sick; more than 1500 emigrants are between life and death at the Sheds; yet say the Ministers, like the parrot in the fable, "this is nothing!"

At the Seminary, Mr. Richard and Mr. McMahon are dangerously ill; the Superior is at the Mountain; M. Bienvenue is convalescent, at the house of the Cure du Sault, Mr. Picard is better, and M. de Charbonnel is at Longuenil seriously indisposed.

It is calculated that there are now from 1500 to 2,000 dead bodies interred in the environs of the Sheds, at a depth of one to two feet!

Died on Friday morning last, at 7 o'clock in the Hospital of the Hotel Dieu, (Montreal) from fever contracted at the Immigrant Sheds, the Rev. JOHN RICHARDS, Priest, and Econome of the Seminary of St. Sulpice of Montreal, aged 60 years and 5 months. The deceased was born in Alexandria Diocese of Baltimore, United States, on the 21st of February, 1787 --came to Montreal in 1809--was ordained Priest on the 25th July 1813--and became attached to the Seminary on the 17th February 1847. He accompanied the English army in Plattsburg, in the expedition of 1813, as Chaplain, together with the late Rev. Mr. Robituille. He witnessed the first arrival of Irish immigrants in Montreal, and was entrusted with the charge of spiritually directing and counselling them, and it is only a few weeks since he was again seen as one of the most zealous in ministering to the thousands lately cast on our shores and in assisting the authorities to ameliorate their wretched state.

Besides the qualities of a Priest, full of zeal and Charity, the Rev. Mr. Richards was remarkable for the solidity of his judgement, and the exceeding amiability of his manners."------

"The St. John's Herald states that of the emigrants who left Great Britain, for Quebec, 4,095 never reached their destination, having died at sea or at quarantine. About 500 more perished at sea by shipwreck, making about 4,700 deaths up to the 30th June."---

The Boston Pilot: Boston, Massachusetts, Saturday, December 11, 1847
Cath Mulholland Bark Syria
Dennis Courtney Agnes
John Monachin Syria
John Doyle Syria
Patrick O'Reilly Syria
Thomas Newman Wordsworth
Nancy Rillie John Bolton
John Linn Bee
Andrew White Bee
Jer'h McCarthy Bee
Jer'h Huggie Bee
William Dobbin Bee
Patrick Carroll Wandsworth
Francis Mournie Bee
Mary Dean Syria
James Small John Bolton
Charles McKenzie Gilmour
John Garrele Dykes
Bridget Tuhey Princess Royal
Mary Reynolds Princess Royal
Joseph Branegar Cape Breton
Michael Finn Pursuit
Anthony Hopkins Sisters
Alexander Browne Wilhelmine
Patrick Crowley Bee
Ann M. Brien Georgia
Martin McFarland Rose
Ellen McKey Orlando
William Byrne Progress
George Shane Ann
John Barry Free Britain
Michael O'Brien Tamarac
James Gilman Agent
Stephen Hegrial Ann
Hugh Crath Huron
James Dwyer Wakefield
George Benley Golish
Mary Nowlan Golish
John Regan Jessie
Michael Greenock Jessie
John Book Unicorn
Bernard Clark Lady Milton
Margaret Kelly Sarah
Andrew Shannon L.F. Hustings
Mrs. Fetters L.F. Hustings
David Jenkins Greenock
John Fagan Triton
Philip Cooney Triton
George Kay John Jorgan
More to follow...

The full list of names was signed by Murdock M'Key - Hospital Steward.


UWInfo | 19th Century Immigration |Genealogy | Local History | Young Immigrants | Sessional Papers

© Marjorie P. Kohli, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, 1997-2003
Last updated: January 16, 2003 and maintained by Marj Kohli

Anonymous said...

Anon of April 18, 2007 2:06 PM -

I can add thousands of these articles of history. So please do make yourself appear so ignorant OR say we were the only immigrants of European Origin who brought diseases.

Anonymous said...

Boy it sure is easy to side track you newfies. What the hell do disease carrying immigrants have to do with fisheries renewal or anything else happening in your pathetic little province today, unless someone is now blaming the demise of the cod fishery on smallpox.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

No...it's probably the Doukhobors fault that the Fishery is dying.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to prove that a Newfie will argue ANYTHING!!

See, I was right.

Anonymous said...

TO: April 18, 2007 3:52 PM

You didn't want to prove anything other than tell us you are very ignornant of your history and of many other things. We caught you in your ignorance!

Anonymous said...

Ignorant Anon of April 18, 2007 3:52 PM

No...INDEED it's not the Doukhobors fault I wanted to give you a few facts of history. Facts that I would bet my life that you never knew, because I don't think you ever attended one day of structured school in your life. I say this because you appear to be heartless in your writings since anyone with a heart would not write the things you write. Maybe I am too heartless here myself by saying the things that I am saying, but somebody needs to bring you to your senses, if that is indeed possible?

Anonymous said...

Immigrants to Canada
UWInfo | Young Immigrants | Genealogy | Local History | 19th Century Immigration

Continental European Immigrants
(The information here was extracted from several books on immigration. Since we are dealing with 19th century immigration, mention is given of ethnic origin rather than country. Mention is made of emigration to New York because many of these people entered Canada through that port.)

Permission to leave:
In many areas, it was not possible to just pack up and leave without permission of the authorities. In the late 1880s, the Italian government passed laws to make emigration easier. However, Nugent states that many emigrants did leave their homelands illegally.

"In Russia, before one may emigrate, many painful and costly formalities must be observed, a passport obtained through the governor and speeded on its way by sundry tips. It is in itself an expensive document without which no Russian subject may leave his community, much less his country. Many persons, therefore, forego the pleasure of securing official permission to leave the Czar's domain, and go, trusting to good luck or to a few rubles with which they may close the ever open eyes of the gendarmes of the Russian boundary. Austrian and Italian authorities also require passports for their subjects, but they are less costly and are granted to all who have satisfied the demands of the law." pp. 31-32 of Steiner

Booking Passage:
"These formalities over, the travellers move on to the market square,... There also, the agent of the steamship company receives with just as much feeling their hard earned money in exchange for the long coveted ‘Ticket,' which is to bear them to their land of hope." p. 32 of Steiner

"The Hamburg-America Line (HAPAG) developed a network of agents in various spots in Russia and East Europe from the early 1870s onward. Through them it served Russian Jews escaping from pogroms as early as 1871, and also German-Russian Mennonites and Bohemian farm families. The terrible cholera epidemic that killed thousands in Hamburg in August 1892 nearly shut down HAPAG for almost two years, but in the fall of 1894, together with the government of the city-state of Hamburg, it built another 25,000 square meters of port facilities, including baths, disinfection facilities, restaurants, sleeping quarters, churches and synagogues, and a music pavilion. Quarantines were enforced in accord with new rules, both German and American." p. 32 of Nugent

To the Port:
"Emigrants, who increasingly heard from relatives and former neighbors living in the New World of opportunities there, accordingly availed themselves ever more often of the expanding railway networks to reach the seaports. Those from the Austro-Hungarian Empire nearly always departed from hamburg or Bremen; those from Russia went through Hamburg; and Germans themselves left from either of those ports or from a Dutch or French port. Swedes and Danes appear frequently on the Hamburg passenger lists. People leaving Italy embarked from Naples, Genoa, Trieste, or Marseilles; those from the Balkans, Trieste usually; and many from the Ukraine and the Russian Pale after 1900 used Odessa. By 1900 most emigrants had several options as to ports of embarkation, passenger lines, prices and accommodations, and of course destinations." p. 33 of Nugent

For Italians, "Naples lead the embarkation ports, accommodating perhaps 75 percent of migrants to the United States, with Palermo a distant second and Genoa third. Some Italians, many of whom had already migrated to France, left from le Havre and Marseilles." p. 98 of Nugent

"...disappearing in the clouds of dust which mark their progress to the railroad station and on towards the dreaded sea.

From the small windows of fourth-class railway carriages they get glimpses of a new world, larger than they ever dreamed it to be, ...

Guided by an official of the steamship company whose wards they have become, they alight from the train; but not without having here and there to pay tribute to that organized brigandage, by which every port of embarkation is infested. The beer they drink and the food they buy, the necessary and unnecessary things which they are urged to purchase, are excessively dear, by virtue of the fact that a double profit is made for the benefit of the officials or the company which they represent.

The first lodging places before they are taken to the harbours, are dear, poor and often unsafe...

Yet, admirable as is the machinery which has been set up at Hamburg for the reception of the emigrant, these minor abuses have not all passed away...

The Italian government safeguards its emigrants admirably at Naples and Genoa; but other governments are seemingly unconcerned. When the official has done with the emigrants, they are taken to the emigrant depot of the company (which in many cases is inadequate for the large number of passengers), their papers are examined and they are separated according to sex and religion. At Hamburg they are required to take baths and their clothing is disinfected; after which they constantly emit the delicious odours of hot steam and carbolic acid. The sleeping arrangements at Hamburg are excellent. Usually twenty persons are in one ward, but private rooms which have beds for four people can be rented.

The food is abundant and good, plenty of bread and meat are to be had, and luxuries can be bought at reasonable prices At Hamburg music is provided and the emigrants may make merry at a dance until dawn of the day of sailing.

The medical examination is now very strict, yet seemingly not strict enough; for quite a large percentage of those who pass the German physicians are deported on account of physical unfitness." pp. 32-35 of Steiner

The Voyage:
"The day of embarkation finds an excited crowd with heavy packs and heavier hearts, climbing the gangplank. An uncivil crew directs the bewildered travellers to their quarters, which in the older ships are far too inadequate, and in the newer ships are, if anything, worse.

Clean they are; but there is neither breathing space below nor deck room above, and the 900 steerage passengers crowded into the hold of so elegant and roomy a steamer as the Kaiser Wilhelm II, of the North German Lloyd line, are positively packed like cattle, making a walk on deck when the weather is good, absolutely impossible, while to breathe clean air below in rough weather, when the hatches are down is an equal impossibility. The stenches become unbearable, and many of the emigrants have to be driven down; for they prefer the bitterness and danger of the storm to the pestilential air below. The division between the sexes is not carefully looked after, and the young women who are quartered among the married passengers have neither the privacy to which they are entitled nor are they much more protected than if they were living promiscuously.

The food, which is miserable, is dealt out of huge kettles into the dinner pails provided by the steamship company. When it is distributed, the stronger push and crowd, so that meals are anything but orderly procedures. On the whole, the steerage of the modern ship ought to be condemned as unfit for the transportation of human beings; and I do not hesitate to say that the German companies, and they provide best for their cabin passengers, are unjust if not dishonest towards the steerage. Take for example, the second cabin which costs about twice as much as the steerage and sometimes not twice so much; yet the second cabin passenger on the Kaiser Wilhelm II has six times as much deck room, much better located and well protected against inclement weather. Two to four sleep in one cabin, which is well and comfortably furnished; while in the steerage from 200 to 400 sleep in one compartment on bunks, one above the other, with little light and no comforts. In the second cabin the food is excellent, is partaken of in a luxuriantly appointed dining-room, is well cooked and well served; while in the steerage the unsavoury rations are not served, but doled out, with less courtesy than one would find in a charity soup kitchen.

The steerage ought to be and could be abolished by law...

On the steamer Noordam, sailing from Rotterdam three years ago, a Russian boy in the last stages of consumption was brought upon the sunny deck out of the pestilential air of the steerage. I admit that to the first cabin passengers it must have been a replusive sight--this emaciated, dirty, dying child; but to order a sailor to drive him down-stairs, was a cruel act, which I resented. Not until after repeated complaints was the child taken to the hospital and properly nursed. On many ships, even drinking water is grudgingly given, and on the steamer Staatendam, four years ago, we had literally to steal water for the steerage from the second cabin, and that of course at night. On many jouneys, particularly on the Furst Bismark, of the Hamburg American line, five years ago, the bread was absolutely uneatable, and was thrown in to the water by the irate emigrants.

In providing better accommodations, the English steamship companies have always led; and while the discipline on board of ship is always sticter than on other lines, the care bestowed upon the emigrants is correspondingly greater." (from On the Trail of the Immigrant, by Edward A. Steiner, published in 1906)

"In the early eighties, every steamship had compartments for steerage passengers, in which hundreds of men were huddled together in berths which afforded bare room to lie down. The berths were two deep, and each passenger paid a small sum for a mattress of straw made to fit the berth; he also provided himself with platter and cup, knife and fork, and spoon, which he had to keep clean and stow away for safe keeping. There was no room provided to place hand baggage or small trunks save in the berth. When the man got in, the baggage got out, so that during sleeping hours the small baggage occupied the pathway leading to the berths; if the vessel rocked hard during the night, the rattle of tins and crockery was great, and, in the morning, it was no easy task to locate the grip or small trunk that had slid away. Towels and soap, comb and brush, were nowhere in sight, and the washroom and toilet accommodations were far from decent. The air in the compartment was foul at all times, and every passenger spent as little time there as possible. None of the immigrants thought of undressing when they went to rest – they took off their shoes, removed their coats, and turned in, and with the dawn they were again on deck. No dining room was provided, but the space between the two rows of berths served as one. Some smooth boards, resting on wooden horses, served as a table. In front of the tables were benches. When the meal bell rang, a rush was made for these; then the stewards brought bread, meat, vegetables, etc., each passenger in turn being served as the waiters passed from one end of the table to the other. The bread was good; the meat, tough; the coffee, poor; and the tea – slop....: p. 2-3 of Roberts

Roberts goes on to describe the "Improved Conditions" of the ships of today [1920]. "In this are found inclosed berths to accommodate from four to eight persons. Room is provided for small trunks or hand baggage, and there are hooks upon which to hang clothes. A stationary washstand with towels is furnished, and the button of an electric alarm is near each berth, so that the occupant may, in case of need, summon a steward. The occupants of these quarters secure a degree of privacy that enables them to remove their clothes before they retire. The lavatories are decent, and the conveniences provided are ample and always usable. Regular dining rooms are provided, and the utensils used are furnished by the company and kept clean by the stewards. The food is ample and of good quality, providing care has been exercised in its preparation. These improvements are not common as yet – they are only found on some ships carrying steerage passengers from the northwestern countries of Europe,..." pp. 3-4 of Roberts

The New World:
Steiner describes the fear of the emigrants as they prepare themselves for entry to the new country. The fear of the immigration agents, the medical, and of the unknown. "Yes, those are heavy hours and long, on that day when the ship is circled by the welcoming gulls, and the fire-ship is passed, while the chains rattle and the baggage is piled on the deck..." pp. 54-55 of Steiner

"At last the great heart of the ship has ceased its mighty throbbing, and but a gentle tremor tells that its life has not all been spent in the battle with wind and waves. The waters are of a quieter colour, and over them hovers the morning mist. The silence of the early dawn is broken only by the sound of deep-chested ferry-boats which pass into the mist and out of it, life giant monsters, stalking on their cross beams over the deep. The steerage is awake after its restless night and mutely awaits the disclosures of its own and the new world's secrets. The sound of a booming gun is carried across the hidden space, and faint touches of flame struggling through the gray, are the sun's answer to the salute from Governor's Island. The morning breeze, like a ‘Dancing Psaltress,' moves gently over the glassy surface of the water, lifts the fog higher and higher, tearing it into a thousand fleecy shreds, and the far things have come near and the hidden things have been revealed. The sky line straight ahead, assaulted by a thousand towering shafts, looking like a challenge to the strong, and a warning to the weak, makes all of us tremble from an unknown fear.

The steerage is still mute; it looks to the left at the populous shore, to the right at the green stretches of Long Island, and again straight ahead at the mighty city. Slowly the ship glides into the harbour, and when it passes under the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, the silence is broken, and a thousand hands are outstretched in greeting to this new divinity into whose keeping they now entrust themselves." pp. 59-60 of Steiner

The Officials:
Cabin and steerage passengers alike, soon find the poetry of the moment disturbed; for the quarantine and custom-house officials are on board,...

The steerage passengers have before them more rigid examinations which may have vast consequences; so in spite of the joyous notes of the band, and the glad greetings shouted to and fro, they sink again into awe-struck and confused silence. When the last cabin passenger has disappeared from the dock, the immigrants with their baggage are loaded into barges and taken to Ellis Island for their final examination." pp. 62-63 of Steiner

"Before they leave the boat, they put on their best clothes, for they are anxious to look their best and make as favorable an impression as possible upon the representatives of the government;..." p. 34 of Roberts

"The barges on which the immigrants are towed towards the island are of a somewhat antiquated pattern and if I remember rightly have done service in the Castle Garden days, and before that some of them at least had done full service for excursion parties up and down Long Island Sound....

With tickets fastened to our caps and to the dresses of the women, and with our own bills of lading in our trembling hands, we pass between rows of uniformed attendants, and under the huge portal of the vast hall where the final judgment awaits us. We are cheered somewhat by the fact that assistance is promised to most of us by the agents of various National Immigrant Societies who seem both watchful and efficient.

Mechanically and with quick movements we are examined for general physical defects...

From here we pass into passageways made by iron railings, in which only lately, through the intervention of a humane official, benches have been placed, upon which, closely crowded, we await our passing before the inspectors.

Already a sifting process has taken place; and children who clung to their mother's skirts have disappeared, families have been divided, and those remaining intact, cling to each other in a really tragic fear that they may share the fate of those previously examined.

One by one we pass the inspectors; we show our money and answer the questions which are numerous and pertinent.

The examination can be superficial at best; but the eye has been trained and discoveries are made here, which seem rather remarkable.

Four ways open to the immigrant after he passes the inspector. If he is destined for New York he goes straightway down the stairs, and there his friends await him if he has any; and most of them have. If his journey takes him westward, and there the largest percentage goes, he enters a large, commodious hall to the right, where the money-changers sit and the transportation companies have their offices. If he goes to the New England states he turns to the left into a room which can scarcely hold those who go to the land of the pilgrims and puritans. The fourth way is the hardest one and is taken by those who have received a ticket marked P.C. (Public Charge), which sends the immigrant to the extreme left where an official sits, in front of a barred gate behind which is the dreaded detention-room." pp. 67-68 of Steiner

"Each railroad on the Jersey shore has an immigrant room to which the newcomers are taken by ferryboats from Ellis Island. In these rooms the immigrants are kept under strict guard until the immigrant train is made up – invariably at night...." p. 38 of Roberts

"Steerage immigrants must take the immigrant train or secure a first-class ticket on a regular train. Those destined to points within fifty miles or so of New York City are put on the first local train leaving after they are brought to the depot; but if they go eighty or more miles, they must take the immigrant train, which may be made up of a full complement of cars or of one coach which is attached to a regular train. The train starts at night, -- about nine o'clock, -- transporting to their destination the people examined that day at Ellis Island...." p. 39 of Roberts

The People
Steiner, Roberts and Nugent agree that the major reason for the emigration of most of the people was one of economics, especially of those from the southeastern European countries. There were, however, some cases, such as the Jews and the Russian Mennonites, who left due to persecution or on religious grounds. Many of those from the northeastern parts of Europe came as families but Roberts claims that a great many from the southeastern parts came to earn money and then return home. He goes on to state, "The new immigration, as before stated, differs much from the old. The people of southeastern Europe are poor, illiterate, and unskilled as compared with those of the Baltic nations; they have lived under forms of government which are oppressive and autocratic, their religious concepts differ widely from those of nations to the northwest; and yet these men of the new immigration have aspirations and hopes much like the immigrants of previous generations." p. 9 of Roberts.

"No one doubts that the flow of migrants out of Europe accelerated in the nineteenth century, beginning in the 1840s and 1850s, then leaped forward after 1870 when steamships almost completely replaced sailing ships. Early in the century, the voyage from the British Isles to North America took four to six weeks, plenty of time for contagious diseases to ravage passengers and crew. Up to and including the Irish Famine emigration of the 1840s, deaths from typhus, cholera, or other contagions frequently swept away 10 percent, and occasionally 25 percent, of the passengers during a crossing. In the 1850s mortality fell sharply, thanks to voluntary and government-imposed health and sanitary regulations and faster ships, which began to combine steam power with sails.

...The two major German companies, the Hamburg-Amerika line (‘HAPAG,' out of Hamburg) and the Norddeutsche Lloyd (out of Bremen) began biweekly sailings to New York, often with stops at Southampton, in 1858; the schedule went to weekly sailings about ten years later. During the 1870s and 1880s the German passenger ships as well as those of the British White Star and Cunard lines and the French Fabre and Compagnie Générale Transatlantique were mostly in the 2,500 to 5,000 ton range, roughly 375 feet by 40 feet in size, and normally carried several hundred passengers although as many as 1,500 were occasionally packed into them. Technical improvements in the stroke and bore of propellers and the efficiency of engines brought migrants westward ever faster." p. 31 of Nugent

(See Scandinavians)

"Then there are Magyars and Finns, rather close kinsmen, who because one lives in the South and the other far North, are as different as the South is from the North;..." p. 27 of Steiner (See Scandinavians)

"France, it needs to be said right away, played little role in the migration. On balance, it imported people from elsewhere in Europe during much of the period." p. 41 of Nugent

"Arrivals at Castle Garden and, after 1892, Ellis Island were classified as ‘German' if that was their language, but many were Austrians rather than Reich Germans. After the North German Bund abolished passports in 1867, emigrants were more difficult to track, especially if they left from non-German ports such as Trieste, Genoa, and Copenhagen." p. 65 of Nugent

Nugent states that German emigration started early but peaked in the 1880s. After German unification in 1871, emigration drop dramatically. "Germans in Canada often went first to the United States and were recorded as going there..." p. 66 of Nugent

"The Italian emigration, the largest which we receive from any one source, comes primarily from Southern Italy, from the crowded cities with their unspeakable vices; the smallest number of emigrants come from the villages where they have all the virtues of tillers of the soil...The number of Italian emigrants is still undiminished, and in spite of the fact that in recent years more than 200,000 of them have annually left their native land, their withdrawal is scarcely felt and the number could be doubled without perceptible diminution at home." p. 28 of Steiner

Nugent estimates that about 4,000,000 Italians came to North America between 1871 and 1914 of which 150,000 made Canada their home.

"Sombre Jews come, on whose faces fear and care have plowed deep furrows, whose backs are bent beneath the burden of law and lawlessness. They come, thousands at a time, at least 5,000,000 more may be expected; and he does not know what misery is, who has not seen them on that march which has lasted nearly 2,000 years beneath the burden heaped by hate and prejudice. Both peasant and Jew come from Russian, Austrian or Magyar rule, under which they have had few of the privileges of citizenship but many of its burdens. From valleys in the crescent shaped Carpathians, from the sunny but barren slopes of the Alps and from the Russian-Polish plains they are coming as once they went forth from earlier homes; peaceful toilers, who seek a field for their surplus labour or as traders to use their wits, and it is a longer journey than any of their timid forbears ever undertook." pp. 22-23 of Steiner

Nugent states that, "Yiddish-speaking Ashkenazi Jews were concentrated most heavily in Austrian Galicia and Russian Lithuania and Poland but lived also throughout what id now Belorussia and the Ukraine." p. 83

He goes on to say that the Jewish emigrants traveled more often as family units. They were outside the law and were forbidden to own land or do many of the things other citizens were allowed. Thus, for survival alone, they emigrated. "Jews were pouring out of the Russian Pale of Settlement and Congress Poland well before 1881. From Germany a probable 140,000 Jews had emigrated in the twenty-five years before 1871, and another 50,000 to 60,000 between then and 1914, most of them to the United States. The East European Jewish migration, however, was much larger. Beginning in the 1870s, much for the usual reasons of comparative economic opportunity and easier transportation, it was spurred in the early 1880s and again after 1900 by successive waves of pogroms in Russia and in Congress Poland." pp. 92-93 of Nugent

"From Lithuania, a province of Russia, come smaller groups of non-Slavic emigrants; people with an old civilization of which little remains, and with a language which leans closest to Sanscrit, yet who, because of their subjection to Russia, have sunk to the level of the Russian peasants." p. 27 of Steiner
"Then there are Magyars and Finns, rather close kinsmen, who because one lives in the South and the other far North, are as different as the South is from the North;..." p. 27 of Steiner

(see Scandinavians)

"The Poles were the next of the Western Slavs to be drawn out of the seclusion of their villages; those from Eastern Prussia being the earliest, and those from Russian Poland the latest who have swelled the stream of emigration.

The largest number of the Polish immigrants is composed of unskilled labourers, most of them coming from villages where they worked in the fields during the summer time, and in winter went to the cities where they did the cruder work in the factories. The Poles from Germany's part of the divided kingdom have furnished nearly their quota of immigrants, and those remaining upon their native acres will continue to remain there, if only to spite the Germans who are grievously disappointed not to see them grow less under the repressive measures of the government.

The Austrian Poles who have retained many of their liberties and have also gained new privileges, have had a national and intellectual revival, under the impulse of which the peasantry has been lifted to a higher level which has reacted upon their economic condition; and although that condition is rather low in Galicia, as that portion of Poland is called, immigration from there has reached its high water mark. The largest increase in immigration among the Poles is to be looked for from Russian Poland where industrial and political conditions are growing worse, and where it will take a long time to establish any kind of equilibrium which will pacify the people and hold them to the soil." pp. 24-25 of Steiner

Nugent states that Poles first emigrated to the large Ontario cities and later to the farms of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

"...Emigrants started sailing west from some parts of Sweden and Norway in the 1840s and 1850s. By 1871, so many Swedes and Norwegians were already living in the United States that serial migration kept the rate of flow unusually high for the next several decades.

The documents for Swedish and Norwegian migration history are exceptionally good. Accurate local record keeping, which began in the eighteenth century, created the longest continuous series in Europe and has permitted more precise statements about Scandinavian migrants and their behavior than for any other group. Although Denmark's migration statistics are not as complete, other sources enabled Kristian Hvidt to compile an accurate register for the 300,000 migrants who left between 1868 and 1914. The Swedish sources even suggest an answer to the vexing question of whether emigrants left because they were unusually enterprising and intelligent or because they were unable to survive and succeed at home...." pp. 55-56 of Nugent

"The customary route began with a coastal ferry or a train to one of several ports: in Norway, Trondheim, Bergen, or Kristiania (Oslo); in Sweden, Göteborg; in Denmark, Copenhagen; and in Finland, Vaasa and Hangö. Scandinavian ships took the migrants across the north Sea to Hull, where they boarded trains for Liverpool. They then made the transatlantic crossing on British liners. British companies wrote 90 percent of the tickets from Sweden in the 1880s and captured much of the Norwegian (even Icelander) traffic as well. Exceptions included the few who took trains to Hamburg or Bremen and then a German ship to New York, as well as passengers on the Danish Thingvalla Line from Copenhagen direct to New York. From there railroads led to Chicago or points in the upper Mississippi Valley." p. 59 of Nugent

The Danes came in great numbers from the Baltic island of Bornholm, from the Zealand district of Lolland-Falster, from Copenhagen, and the southern tip of Jutland and other areas on the German boarder. "...After the Danish-Prussian War of 1864, North Schleswig became German, which prompted Danes to leave there in unusual numbers. Religion also motivated many Danes who had converted to the Baptist or the Mormon faith in the nineteenth century; tens of thousands left for America, where there was no established church." p. 56 of Nugent

Nugent goes on to say that between 1851 and 1930 some quarter of a million Swedes emigrated to North America. They came mostly from the provinces west and south of Stockholm, namely, Hallard, Jönköping, Värmland, Kronoberg, Kalmar, and Alvsborg.

Norwegian emigrants came in great numbers from Sognefjord and the districts of Valdres and hallingdall.

Icelanders made their way to the Canadian west and settled in Manitoba while Swedes, Danes and Norwegians headed to Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. (Nugent, p. 58)

"Of the four nationalities, Finns were the latest to join the mass migration. Although a few departed as early as 1864, not until the 1880s, a stagnant decade in Scandinavia, did heavy Finnish emigration begin. Much of it came from the Swedish-speaking east coast of the Gulf of Bothnia and continued even more strongly from there after 1900." pp. 56-57 of Nugent

Bohemians "...started this stream of emigration as early as the seventeenth century, sending us the noblest of their sons and daughters, the heroes and heroines of the reformatory wars; idealists, who like the Pilgrim Fathers, came for "Freedom to worship God." Their descendants have long ago been blended into the common life of the people of America, scarcely conscious of the fact that they might have the same pride in ancestry which the descendants of the Pilgrims delight to exhibit. Not until the latter part of the nineteenth century, in the 70s, did the Bohemian immigrants come in large numbers and in a steady stream, bringing with them the Czechs of Moravia, a neighbouring province... Nearly all Bohemian immigrants come to stay, and adjust themselves more or less easily to their environment. The economic distress which has brought them here, while never acute, threatens to become so now from the over accentuated language struggle which diverts the energies of the people and makes proper legislation impossible. The building of railroads and other governmental enterprises have been retarded by parliamentary obstructionists, to whom language is more than bread and butter. Business relations with the Germanic portions of Austria have come almost to a standstill; conditions which are bound to increase emigration from Bohemia's industrial centres." pp. 23-24 of Steiner

"The Slovaks, who were relatively the best off, and further away from the main arteries of travel, are, comparatively speaking, newcomers and furnish at present the largest element in the Western Slavic immigration. They have retained most staunchly many of their Slavic characteristics, are the least impressionable among the Western Slavs, and usually come, lured by the increased wages. They are most liable to return to the land of their fathers after saving money enough materially to improve their lot in life.

From the Austrian provinces, Carinthia and Styria, come increasingly large numbers of Slovenes who are really the link between the Eastern and Western Slavs. They belong to the highest type of that race, but represent only a small portion of the large Slavic family. Of the Eastern Slavs, only the Southern group has moved towards America, the Russian peasant being bound to the soil, and unable to free himself from the obligation of paying the heavy taxes, by removal to a foreign country. With the larger freedom which is bound to come to him, will also come economic relief so that the emigration of the Russian peasnat in large numbers is not a likelihood.

Lured by promises of higher wages in our industrial centres, Croatians and Slovenians come in increasingly large numbers, while in smaller numbers come Servians and Bulgarians.

The only Slavs who are thorough seamen and who are coming to our coasts in increasingly large numbers as sailors and fishermen, are the Dalmatians; and last but most heroic of all the Slavs, is the Montenegrin, who has held his mountain fastnesses against the Turk and who has been the living wall, resisting the victories of Islam. His little country is blessed by but a few crumbs of soil between huge mountains and boulders, and in the measure in which peace reigns in the Balkans, he is without occupation and sustenance; so that he is compelled to seek these more fertile shores, where he will for the first time in history and quite unconsciously, ‘Turn the sword into a plowshare and the spear into a pruning hook.'" pp. 25-27 of Steiner

Nugent states that Solvaks began to emigrate in the 1870s and more so after the crop failures of 1879. "Solvak young women, like their Irish counterparts, often migrated by themselves or in groups, finding positions as domestic servants in the United States." p. 90 of Nugent

(See Scandinavians)

Nugent, Walter, Crossings: The Great Transatlantic Migrations, 1870-1914, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992)

Roberts, Peter, The New Immigration, (New York: Macmillian Co.,1920).

Steiner, Edward A., On The Trail of the Immigrant, (New York: Fleming H. Revell Co.,1906).


UWInfo | Young Immigrants | Genealogy | Local History | 19th Century Immigration

© Marjorie P. Kohli, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, 1997-2003
Last updated: January 9, 2003 and maintained by Marj Kohli

Anonymous said...

Immigrants to Canada
UWInfo | Young Immigrants | Genealogy | Local History | 19th Century Immigration

Newspaper Reports of 1847
From The Ocean Plague by Robert Whyte, Boston: Coolidge and Wiley, 1848.

Monday Afternoon, August 9
Since my last, the wind has been blowing fresh from the northeast, and several vessels have arrived in port, the names of which you will find enclosed. Four have just arrived, but are not yet boarded. I make out the names of three, viz:-Bark Covenanter, Bark Royal Adelaide, and Schooner Maria, of Limerick. The Zealous has not yet made her appearance.

The accounts from Grosse Isle since my last, are not of a favorable nature, and the number of deaths is much the same. The building of the new sheds there is advancing rapidly.

A letter was received this forenoon, from the mate of the bark Naparima, with passengers, from Dublin, dated off Bic, last Friday, announcing that the Captain, Thomas Brierly, died on the 3d instant, and was buried on the same day. She was then fifty days out, and short of provisions,-about 20 of the passengers were sick, but were recovering when the mate wrote, and he intended to put into some convenient place for supplies. There was a pilot on board, and every exertion would be made to get her up to the Quarantine Station as soon as possible.
-extracted from the Quebec Correspondence of the Montreal Herald.

We are in possession of the latest news from Grosse Isle. The hospital statement yesterday, the 9th, was 2240. There is a large fleet of vessels at the station, and amongst them some very sickly, as it may be seen from the following statement:--

Passengers Deaths Sick
Bark Ellen Simpson Limerick 184 4 -
Brig Anna Maria Limerick 119 1 1
Bark Amy Bremen 289 - -
Brig Watchful Hamburg 145 - -
Ship Ganges Liverpool 393 45 80
Bark Corea Liverpool 501 18 7
Bark Larch Sligo 440 108 150
Bark Naparima Dublin 226 7 17
Bark Britannia Greenock 386 4 25
Brig Trinity Limerick 86 all well -
Bark Lilias Dublin 219 5 6
Bark Brothers Dublin 318 6 -

A full rigged ship just coming in-not yet boarded.

The hospitals have never been so crowded, and the poor creatures in the tents (where the healthy are), are dying by dozens! Eleven died on the night of the 8th, and one on the road to the hospital yesterday morning.

Captain Read, of the Marchioness of Breadalbane, died in hospital on the 7th. The Captain of the Virginius died the day after his arrival at Grosse Isle.

We regret to learn that the Rev. Mr. Paisley is in a critical state. He was dangerously ill this morning.

Since writing the above we learn that 60 new cases were admitted into hospital, and 300 more, arrived on the 8th and 9th, remain to be admitted!
Quebec Mercury, August 10th, 1847

The Steamer St. George arrived from Grosse Isle yesterday afternoon, but brought nothing of importance. The cool temperature of the last few days has had a favorable effect on the sick in the tents, and fewer cases of fever had appeared. [Note: the St. George was used to move passengers from Grosse Isle to the mainland.

The Ship Washington from Liverpool, 9th of July, had arrived at the station yesterday. She has one cabin, and 305 steerage passengers, had 22 deaths and 20 sick. She reports 15 vessels with passengers in the Traverse.
Quebec Chronicle

Hospital return-Grosse Isle, September 14th, 1847

Remaining on 14th 1386
Died 12th to 13th inst., 41

Hospital return-Grosse Isle, from 19th to 25th of Sept

Remaining on 19th 1196 Discharged 234
Admitted since 436 Died 121
subtotal 1632 355
plus discharged and died 355
total 1277

Deaths at the sheds, where the healthy passengers are landed, during the same period-10

There are 1240 cases of fever, and 37 cases of small pox. Two men died whilst being landed from the Emigrant, and 162 cases were admitted into hospital from the same vessel.

Hospital statement to the 28th

Men 473
Women 441
Children 349
Total 1263

Grosse Isle-Return of sick in hospitals 1st October.

Discharged Died Remaining
Men 414 103 7 304
Women 412 156 3 253
Children 326 109 1 216
1152 368 11 773

(Signed) I.M. Douglass, Med. Sup.

About 400 convalescents went up to Montreal in the Canada on Thursday last, and 35 came up to Quebec in the Lady Colborne on Friday.

This has enabled the Medical Superintendent to close another hospital; and this day the services of two more medical men, with their staff of orderlies and nurses will be dispensed with.

Hospital statement, 5th October.

Men, 230-Women, 124-Children, 150-Total, 504.

There were then three vessels with emigrants at the station.

A Melancholy Tale of Woe
On Saturday last, 30th October, the Lord Ashburton, from Liverpool, 13th September, with general cargo and passengers, arrived at Grosse Isle in a most wretched state.

When sailing she had 475 steerage passengers, and before her arrival at the Quarantine Station, she had lost 107 by dysentery and fever; and about 60 of those remaining were then ill of the same complaints. So deplorable was the condition of those on board that five of the passengers had to remain to work the ship up from Grosse Isle.
Quebec Mercury.

Emigration From Liverpool
The amount of emigration from Great Britain and Ireland has his year far surpassed that of any previous year, as will be seen from the following returns, made up on the 6th instant, of emigration from this port alone:--

United States 77,403
Canada 27,666
New Brunswick 1,479
Nova Scotia 171
Prince Edward's Isle 444
Other places 311
Total 107,474

Of this vast number of emigrants, two thirds were Irish, and of the remaining one third, two fifths were Scotch and English, and one fifth German, of whom a larger number than formerly left this port during the past season.

Reports of the following vessels upon their arrival at Grosse Isle; namely,

Passengers Deaths Sick
Sir Henry Pottinger Cork 399 98 112
Bark Wellington Liverpool 435 26 30
Bark Sir Robert Peel Liverpool 458 24 12
Schooner Jessie Limerick 108 2 16
Bark Anne Rankin Glasgow 332 7 3
Bark Zealous London 120 1 5

We are glad to learn that the Soeurs Grises [The gray Sisters, a community of charitable Nuns.], amongst whom sickness and death have made such fearful havoc, during their self-immolating ministrations to the dying emigrants, are again pursuing their charitable labors at the Sheds at Point St. Charles. We are happy to learn, also, that the sickness in Griffintown is rapidly on the decrease.
Montreal Pilot.

The following advertisement is a specimen of many of a similar nature, that daily appeared in the newspapers; and requires no comment.

Information wanted of Abraham Taylor, aged 12 years, Samuel Taylor, 10 years, and George Taylor, 8 years old, from county Leitrim, Ireland, who landed in Quebec about five weeks ago-their mother having been detained at Grosse Isle. Any information respecting them will be thankfully received by their brother, William Taylor, at this office.
Montreal Transcript, September 11th, 1847.

The 'Quebec Chronicle' having obtained permission to copy them from the official records, has commenced the publication of the names of all the unfortunates who have died in the hospital at Grosse Isle, with their ages and the names of the vessels in which they came to Canada, as well as the date of the decease. The 'Chronicle' deserves well of the community, for thus affording the relatives of the poor sufferers the means of knowing what has become of them.
Montreal Courier.

The immigration commissioners report that 94 vessels have landed in the Province of New Brunswick, the present season, 15,269 passengers. The deaths at sea on board these vessels, were six hundred and sixty two.

The schooner Victoria, from Quebec, with 20 passengers, anchored at the Quarantine ground on Tuesday last. She had three cases of Typhus fever on board. The passengers and crew were landed on Middle Island this morning, the captain securing the maintainance[sic] of the healthy passengers and crew until discharged.
Miramichi Gleaner, 27th July.

Emigration to New York.-We have received from Senator Folsom a printed copy of the report forwarded to the Legislature by the Commissioners of Emigration at this port. It is dated October 1st, 1847. The board of Commissioners having been organized on the 8th May last, Robert Taylor being appointed agent, and William F. Havemeyer, president-proceeded immediately to take charge of the sick and destitute emigrants. Having filled the Quarantine hospitals, all the spare rooms connected with the City Almshouse department were hired at a dollar per week for each destitute emigrant, and a dollar and a half per week for the sick. But the introduction of fever patients at the Almshouse was attended with too much risk, and buildings were erected for their accommodation on Staten Island. These being still inadequate, the buildings on the Long Island Farms were leased, but the fear of contagion so alarmed the neighborhood, that the buildings were burned by incendiaries.

The United States Government at once granted their warehouses at Quarantine for the accommodation of the sick. They were soon filled, as all the principal hospitals, public and private, to which the Commissioners had to resort. At this crisis, a large stone building was leased on Ward's Island, which with buildings subsequently added to it, afforded ample accommodation for the thousands dependent upon their benevolent undertaking.

Many were destitute of clothing, and from may to September, ten thousand three hundred and eight articles of dress were made at Ward's Island and furnished to them, by direction of the Commissioners. Hundreds have been provided with employment in the interior of the state, and many forwarded West at the expense of the Commissioners.

The number of passengers who arrived from may 5th to Sept. 30th , inclusive, and for whom commutation money was paid, or bonds given, was 101,546, of whom only 25 were bonded.

Of said passengers there were natives of

Germany 43,208 Italy 130
Ireland 40,820 Sweden 119
England and Wales 6,501 Spain 72
Holland 2,966 Denmark 51
France 2,633 Portugal 31
Scotland 1,856 Poland 21
Switzerland 1,506 East Indies 6
Norway 881 Turkey 1
West Indies 265
Total 101,546

Of which number there were

Forwarded from the city Temporarily relieved Sent to Hospitals Sent to Alms house
427 217 5,148 713

Total, 6,505, of whom were Irish 3,792.

Adding to the above 256 emigrants who were in Hospital at the time the Commissioners entered upon their duties, we have 6,761, the total number under their care up to the date of this report.

Of these, seven hundred and three died between the 8th of May and the 1st October. The names, ages, and places of birth, of the dead, are not give. This is an oversight which ought to be corrected.

It seems, also, that no provision was made for the erection of any memorial over their graves.
New York Paper.

Ship Fever.-The British ship India, Gray, (late Thompson), arrived yesterday from Liverpool, after a passage of 57 days. Captain Thompson died of the ship fever on the 14th inst., (January, 1848) and during the passage 39 of the passengers died of the same disease. The chief officer of the ship, and a large number of the passengers are now sick. When the India left Liverpool she had two hundred and seventy passengers.
New York Express.

The British Ship Viceroy, arrived at New Orleans on the 5th instant, with 286 immigrants.

Fourteen had died on the passage, and many others were very sick, and sent to the Charity Hospital. The Orizaba, which arrived from Liverpool on the 31st ult., had shipped 170; 24 of whom died, and most of the rest were sent to the Hospital.
Boston Mail, Jan. 19th, 1848.

Report of Deer Island Hospital, Boston, for the week ending January 26th, 1848.

Number remaining as per last week's report, 311
Admitted since, 28
Total, - 339
Discharged, 36
Died, 13 49
Remaining, 290
Whole number admitted to this date, 2,230
Whole number buried on the Island, 347
Of whom were brought from the ship dead, 20
Died the day of their reception, 8
In carriage, 2

Boston Journal.

Foreign Emigrants.-A communication from the State Department was laid before the House of Representatives on Friday last, reporting the number of passengers who arrived from foreign countries on shipboard, during the year ending 30th of September last. The number of males was 139,166; females, 99,325; sex not reported, 989; total, 239,480. The prospect is that the number will be much larger the present year.

Of the above number of passengers, 145,838 landed in New York; 20,848 in Massachusetts; 5,806 in Maine; 14,777 in Pennsylvania; 12,018 in Maryland; 34,803 in Louisiana, and 3,873 in Texas.
Boston Journal.

Abstract statement of payments on account of the expenses attending emigration, in the Province of Canada, during the season 1847. Taken from the Inspector General's report.

Amount paid for the erection of Hospital Sheds:

At Grosse Isle, £10,609, 11, 7
At Quebec, 1,120, 0, 0
At Montreal, 15,914, 17, 5
£27,644, 9, 0
For transport of emigrants inland, including cost of provisions, 35,450, 0, 0
For Boards of Health.
Canada, East and West, 60,220, 19, 7
Expenses at Quarantine Station, 15,465, 17, 6
Emigration Agent for transport, 10,502, 4, 5
Board of Health, and Emigrant Hospital at Quebec, 8,000, 0, 0
Total £157,283 10, 6

Table showing the comparative number of emigrants to the ports designated, viz:

1846 1847 Increase 1847
Quebec 32,753 98,105 65,351
New York, 97,843 145,890 48,047
Boston, 14,079 20,745 6,666
Philadelphia, 7,236 14,763 7,527
Baltimore, 9,327 12,018 2,691
183,386 331,963 148,577

Emigration to British North America
Emigration returns just issued by order of her Majesty, state that the numbers who embarked in Europe, in 1847, for Canada, was 98,006. Viz:

From England [It may be necessary to remark that many of the Irish emigrants sailed from English ports.] 32,228
From Ireland, 54,329
From Scotland, 3,752
From Germany, 7,697

Of the whole number 91,882 were steerage passengers, 684 cabin, and 5541 infants. Deducting from this aggregate the Germans and the cabin passengers, the entire number of emigrants who embarked at British ports was 89,738, of whom 5,293 died before their arrival, leaving 84,445 who reached the colony. Of these it is estimated that six sevenths were from Ireland. Of the 84,445 who reached the colony alive, no less than 10,037 died after their arrival. Of the remainder no less than 30,265 were admitted into Hospital for medical treatment. Up to the 12th of November last, the number of destitute emigrants forwarded from the agency at Montreal to Upper Canada was 38,781.
New Orleans Price Current.

As the conduct of Irish landlords has been severely commented upon, in the foregoing pages, it is but just to inform the reader of a most honorable exception; and which it affords the author extreme gratification to be enabled to do, by transcribing the following article from the "British Canadian."

Last Season's Emigration.
Among the landlords who last summer were desirous of providing an asylum for portion of their tenantry, was one who was actuated by far other motives than merely getting rid of so many people. We trust there were others urged by similar motives, but there were some not very creditable exceptions. Steven E. De Vere, Esq., a gentleman of fortune, and the proprietor of some estates in the South of Ireland, having heard a great deal about the evils and benefits of emigration to this Province, and hearing also of the sufferings of many poor people who had been sent from the country, determined to try the experiment himself. This he came to the conclusion to do, not by making arrangements for the transport of so many hundreds of thousands of his tenantry, and remaining at home to hear as much, or as little as might be, of their fate; but he would see for himself. He accordingly picked some dozen volunteers from among the numbers who would gladly have accompanied him, and with them took shipping for Quebec, in the steerage of one of the regular passenger ships. Landlord and Tenant fared alike, the former taking careful notes of the events of the passage. Of the voyage we need say nothing more than that it was of the average character-there was all the disease, ill usage, and wretchedness of which our readers have often been made perfectly aware;-the state of things which imported the fever that carried off many of our most valued friends and citizens. At Quebec, proceedings were commenced against the Captain, which were ultimately compounded upon his paying a certain amount for the benefit of the suffering Emigrants. Mr. De Vere proceeded to Upper Canada, and closely observed the whole process of transportation, to the very last destination-the graves of the fever-stricken people. In Toronto this philanthropic gentleman attended the emigrant office, and rendered much assistance to the lamented and indefatigable agent, Mr. McElderly, boarding with him every steamer filled with the wretched cargoes, and transmitting to the "proper authorities" the result of his laborious experience. He was well pleased with the management of our hospitals; but shocked, as every one was, with the mode of transporting the poor people hither. Some of the steamboat cargoes were sufficient to recall to the mind the horrors of the sea voyage. Mr. De Vere's people suffered from fever, but recovered, receiving his constant personal attendance. The fact of this gentleman's investigations being laid before the Colonial Secretary, and some members of the House of Lords, coming as they did from one well known, and who could not possibly have any interest in writing, but the benefit of his countrymen, has had a good effect, and he merits well of the people of this Province, as well as the emigrating population of the mother country.

Few men are found to act from such pure disinterestedness in these days, and it is gratifying to observe the result of such labors.

Mr. De Vere returns shortly to England, and, by making his views public, will, we hope, be the means of obtaining further improvements, as those already made are by no means sufficient. One fact is certain, his information may be implicitly relied upon by government; for he has obtained it himself, on the spot, and by the most careful, and indeed dangerous investigation, as the above mentioned facts fully show.

It was the author's intention to confine himself to the occurrences of the year 1847; but as the publication of the foregoing narrative has been delayed longer than was anticipated, it may here be observed that he had strong hopes that judicious precautions would have been taken to prevent the repetition this season, of the tragic scenes of the last.

Some legislative enactments for the further regulation of Emigrant ships have been passed by Great Britain, during the last session of Parliament; but it is much to be feared that they will prove quite inefficient. It is painful to observe the very unfavorable accounts from some of the Ports of the United States, as well as of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

As regards Canada the prospect is exceedingly gloomy, to judge from the conduct of the executive government in forbidding the publication, or issue of any reports from the Quarantine Station, respecting the state of things there.

Were not the trials of the wretched emigrant already sufficiently great, that he must

"To such unsightly sufferings be debased?"

The Press has boldly taken up the matter, and it is to be hoped that the appearance and repetition of such articles as the following will tend to the repeal of the obnoxious and cruel edict.

Grosse Isle Intelligence
The executive government have forbidden the transmission of any news or statements from the island, except, we suppose, to head quarters, that is, to themselves. This is a proceeding as arrogant as it is absurd and mischievous. Last year full reports were given to the public of the state of the island and the proceedings there, as well from official as from private sources. Why then interdict the publication this year, when more than ever a faithful return of the health and sickness prevailing at the quarantine station is most desirable?

If the prohibition be intended to prevent alarm, it is founded upon false premises, as, in the absence of authentic information, wild and exaggerated rumors obtain credence. The public have a right to be informed of what is passing at Grosse Isle.
Kingston Chronicle, 17th June, 1848.

More newspaper reports and events of 1847 on TheShipsList.


UWInfo | Young Immigrants | Genealogy | Local History | 19th Century Immigration

© Marjorie P. Kohli, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, 1999-2003
Last updated: April 17, 2003 and maintained by Marj Kohli

Anonymous said...

Thank God I never attended school in Newfoundland....I'd be illiterate today.

Anonymous said...

Thank God you didn't attend school in Newfoundland!

According to the taunting you do on Patriot's blog, nobody would have been able to learn with a bully like you in class anyway. But I truly doubt that you have ever attended school anywhere, since it seems all that you are capable of is writing one line taunts.

Anonymous said...

I prefer to use the word "mockery"


Anonymous said...

People learn in NL????


Anonymous said...

Artfull Dodger said....

I honestly wish folks would ignore the individual(s) goading people on in here. By responding to the obvious inflammatory posts put forth by these people, we are providing them with exactly what they are looking for, our indignation and disgust, best that we ignore them and leave them without an outlet to spew their hatefull postings vis-a-vis this province and it's good people.

Just thought it needed to be said!


Artfull Dodger

Anonymous said...


By doing so, people, who never knew there were this type of people out there who kept us down, can now see the Evils we have had to face as a province trying to get ahead, and a people who have not being able to make a living in their own province, DESPITE THE VAST RESOURCES. The type of people you tell us not to give fuel to, so as to fan their fire, are the ones that have kept this province down for 58 years. They have to be exposed. Maybe though we have already done it to the degree that it needed to be done and NOW we can CUT OFF THE FUEL and get along with the procedure that needs to be carried out to see that they NO LONGER GET THEIR WAY. THERE IS A JOB TO BE DONE IN THIS PROVINCE AND I THINK WE HAVE THE RIGHT MAN TO DO IT, THE PREMIER OF THIS PROVINCE IS QUITE AWARE OF WHAT HAS TO BE DONE. PREMIER WILLIAMS WE YIELD YOU THE RIGHT AWAY.

Anonymous said...

Give more power to the Dictator...there's a great idea.

Anonymous said...

I bet all the cod fish migrated to Alberta for a better quality of life.

Anonymous said...

I will take the fresh smelling salt air over Newfoundland and Labrador any day over the sour gas smelling and killing air of Alberta. Sorry but you keep asking for more!

Anonymous said...

Money doesn't always equate into better, but it can help if it is spent morally.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm....thousands migrate to Alberta.....NO ONE wants to move to NL..

Yup, Alberta wins.

And btw....salt air is not fresh-smelling.

Fish guts stink....therefore your dinky little "outports" stink. I know....I've been there.

Anonymous said...

Anon of April 22, 2007 5:16 PM

- You are the most childish of all the posters I have ever read! I would like to ask you your age. Are you a 6 year old child?
If you are 6 years or under I will give you kudos for posting, if you are over 6 year, I hope you get the help you need.

Fish is the food that the whole world is promoting and carving, so you better get used to the smell. Unlike beef, there isn't enough of it around?

Anonymous said...

You can carve a fish??


Anonymous said...

I'm actually 6 1/2 years old this coming Thursday.

Thanks for the compliment. I study real hard in school.

Not a Newfoundland school of course or I wouldn't be able to type so well.