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Letters from the Dorking Emigrants
(who went to Upper Canada, in the spring of 1832)
Published in London in 1833 (from the CIHM collection #63354)
To The Inhabitants of Dorking
Having introduced the plan for assisting persons from this parish to emigrate to Upper Canada, and having taken an active part in carrying it into effect, it gives me great gratification to publish the following letters, from some of the individuals who were sent out by your Association, during the last Spring. I have taken great pains to procure a sight of every letter which has been received from them, and I have met with no instance of complaint, nor expression of disappointment. The only case of failure which has come to my knowledge, is that of an individual, who narrowly escaped transportation for life at the Assizes for this County, in the Spring of 1832; who, upon his arrival in Upper Canada, broke open a store, and was committed to prison in the town of York, upon his liberation worked his passage home, and is now in confinement in Guilford Goal for disorderly conduct. The letters are literal copies of the originals, except the spelling and the omission of some repetitions.
The perusal of these letters will satisfy every unprejudiced mind that industrious persons, with or without small capitals, have a fair prospect of maintaining themselves and their families in comfort and independence by settling in Upper Canada. The idle and the dissolute will suffer the same privations and the same punishments there as in their own country. There is no provision for them. Every man must earn his subsistence by the labour of his hands.
I have no hesitation in giving the preference to this colony. The climate is very similar to our own, and the emigrant upon his arrival there will find himself surrounded by his fellow countrymen, engaged in similar objects, willing and able to give him both their advice and assistance. The expense of the passage is much lower than to any other Colony, and the voyage shorter and less harassing. As a national object it demands our preference, when we consider the importance of creating a strong and powerful barrier on this boundary of the United States, by the establishment of a numerous and thriving population.
In addition to the satisfactory reflection that we have added greatly to the comfort and happiness of so many of our poor neighbours, by the assistance afforded to those who have emigrated, we may also contemplate the improved situations of those who remain. During the Winters of 1831 and 1832 there were constantly between 70 and 80 persons employed by this Parish, either upon the roads or in the gravel pits. This year there have been only between 40 and 50, showing a difference about equal to the number of the labourers who emigrated to Canada. Of the above 40 or 50, several are either aged or infirm, and therefore under any circumstances would require relief from the parish. The result however proves that were a similar number of persons to emigrate as last year, we should in the ensuing year have hardly one able-bodied labourer requiring employment from the parish. A most happy conclusion, when we recollect that at the present rate of wages, 12s. per week, the labourer can provide a greater quantity of both food and clothing for his family than he has been able to do for the last 30 years.
With such advantages arising from emigration, it is natural to enquire whether it should not be encouraged by some legislative enactment. To this I am at the present time decidedly adverse. I cannot but think that the principle upon the present system works as fast as either the parent State or its Colonies can bear, and that the check occasioned by the difficulty of obtaining sufficient funds to forward every applicant is a very useful one. Forty to fifty thousand persons have annually emigrated to Upper Canada alone, during the last two years, and have found good employment and comfortable habitations. As the field is enlarged, more may be admitted; but the greatest evil and misery would arise, were so large a number sent at any one time, as to be unable to obtain a proper provision. If any law were passed to enable Parishes to raise funds for this purpose by mortgaging their rates, I should fear that in many instances a contest might arise between the authorities and the paupers, respecting their right to this assistance, and thus add another to the almost endless difficulties created by our poor laws.
By the present plan which has been adopted by this parish every object has been gained. A liberal subscription has covered those expenses which do not come under the head of parish relief, and the food and clothing which must have been supplied in some shape or other, if the parties had remained at home, have been provided by the parish. Thus the poor have had the advantage of both funds, and not feeling that they could claim a right to either, have thankfully received the provision made for them.
As the subject of emigration is one of increasing interest, and these letters may be distributed to many persons unacquainted with our proceedings, I have prefixed a list of the emigrants, with their several ages, and I have added the amount of the expenses incurred. By a reference to them it will appear that the cost of the outfit passage, and every other expense of an adult, including one pound for pocket money, did not exceed ten pounds; and I believe that even that sum will bear reduction, as, from our past experience, we may make many savings, without diminishing the comforts of the emigrants.
After perusing these letters I am persuaded that the Inhabitants of this place will readily continue to encourage a plan which has proved to be productive of such general benefit, and that they will again contribute their assistance to enable the Association to send out some of those persons who may be desirous of emigrating this Spring. The number must depend upon the means afforded by the funds of the Association, and I trust that they will not be found wanting, when we reflect that for the small sum of ten pounds, we have the power of securing one individual from a state of want and wretchedness, and of making him an industrious, useful, and independent citizen.
Your sincere friend.
Bury Hill, Dorking,
Having been frequently applied to for information respecting the best mode of securing births and provisions for the voyage, I may add that this department was undertaken for this parish by Mr. E.C. Mitchell, of Salvadore House, Bishopsgate Street, and filled very much to our satisfaction; and any application may be made to him, either by parishes or individuals.
List of the Persons Who Were Sent Out by the Parish of Dorking.
Married Men with Four Children and under
Married Men with more than Four Children
|Arnold, John.............32 years||Inwood, John.............30 years||Cosins, Charles.........59 years|
|Blunden, Jas., Alias Mitchell..22||_______John, jun......13||_______Wife, Ann....43|
|Broughton, George...19||Jeater, James..............27||_______Hester..........21|
|Broughton, Richard..20||______Wife, Eliza.....29||_______Cornelius.....20|
|Davis, James, alias Watson..22||______Israel..............3||_______Thomas........18|
|Hill, Samuel, jun.......40||______Elizabeth........1||_______Mary.............18|
|Lucy, John.................28||Lucy, James................36||_______Elizabeth.......16|
|Merritt, James............25||_____Wife, Jane.........28||_______Caroline.........15|
|Rose, James................28||Terry, Thomas.............27||_______Francis William..11|
|Rowland, James.........23||______Wife, Sarah......23||_______Ann...................8|
|Worsfold, William.....29||Tilt, William.................27||_______Jesse...................5|
|Page, Richard.............25||____Wife, Jane.............27||Slipper, Robert.................46|
|Taylor, John...............21||____John.......................7||_______Wife, Harriet......44|
|Mercer, William, jun..20||Cosins, Charles.............19||_______Robert.................13|
|Edwards, Alfred..........20||_______Wife, Ann........20||_______Rose....................12|
|Peters, Edward............21||Cook, Henry.................||_______Jane.....................8|
|Willard, Wm., Wife and 7 sons, all young.|
To The Subscribers
Dorking Emigration Society
Your Committee report that they have fitted out and sent off from Dorking for Upper Canada, Seventy-five persons. Sixty-one of whom (viz. Forty-three Adults and Eighteen Children) belonged to the Parish of Dorking, almost all of whom have received relief from this Parish: Eleven formed the family of William Willard, (whose settlement was in dispute between the Parishes of Albury and Dorking,) and Three (namely John Sturt, Alfred Edwards, and David Penfold) defrayed their own charges.
Your Committee feel pleasure in being able to acquaint you, that with a view to the accommodation and comfort of the Emigrants, which they would naturally derive from one of their own Town having a knowledge of the Country to which they were going, and accompanying them, have prevailed on Mr. Christopher Abel of Dorking to set sail with them, and to whose superintendance your Committee have confided them.
Your Committee subjoin for your information the following accounts, the first shewing the sums received and expended on account of the Subscribers, and the latter the total amount of receipts and expenses, as well by the Society as by the Parish.
By direction of the Committee,
Dorking, 28th of April, 1832.
John Niblett, Treasurer Of The Dorking Emigration Society
In Account with the Subscribers thereto.
|1832||£. s. d.|
|To the amount of Subscriptions received...||415 17 6|
|To Cash received of John Stuart, Alfred Edwards, and David Penfold, being a proportion, applicable to the funds of this Society, of 25£. 15s. paid by them, for fitting and sending them out to America, the remaining 10£, 15s, being paid over to Mr. Bell on account of the Parish||15 0 0|
|Total||£430 17 6|
Per Contra, Cr.
|1832||£. s. d.||£. s. d.|
|By Cash paid to Mr. Ede, for Printing, Stationery, &c....||3 8 1|
|By Bill of Accountant for Stationery, Postages, &c....||2 0 9|
|By Cash paid Mr. Patching, on account of the Room at the Infant School, used for Meetings of the Committee...||1 12 9|
|7 0 10|
|By Passage Money for 47 Adults and 15 Children, (say 54 Adults) from Portsmouth to Montreal, at 3£. 7s. 6d. each...||182 5 0|
|Steam Tug for 54 Adults, from Quebec to Montreal, at 3s. 4½d. each...||9 2 8|
|Passage and Provision for 54 Adults, from Montreal to York, Upper Canada, at 1£. 2s. 6d. each...||60 15 0|
|Pocket Money for Mr. Christopher Abel, the Superintendant...||5 0 0|
|Pocket Money for 45 Adults and 18 Children...||54 18 4|
|312 1 0|
|Commission paid to Mr. Edward Charles Mitchell, on 504£. 0s. 11d. the amount of the expenses for Provision, Passage, and Pocket Money, for 52 Adults and 24 Children, say 62 Adults...||25 4 1|
|344 5 11|
|Balance due to the Subscribers, which has been paid into the Banking House of Messrs, Nash and Neale, Dorking, to the credit of the Society...||86 11 7|
|Total||£430 17 6|
An Account of all Sums received and Expenses incurred by the Dorking Emigration Society in fitting and sending out Seventy-five Emigrants to America.
|£. s. d.||£. s. d.|
|To the amount of Subscriptions and Cash received, as shown in the Treasurer's Account above stated||430 17 6|
|To Cash received of John Sturt, Alfred Edwards, and David Penfold, being the remainder of the 75£. 15s. received of them, and applicable to the Parish of Dorking...||10 15 0|
|To Cash received of the Parishes of Shiere and Albury towards fitting and sending out William Willard, his Wife, and Family, (11 in number)...||60 0 0|
|70 15 0|
|Total||501 12 6|
|£. s. d.||£. s. d.||£. s. d.|
|By Cash paid by the Treasurer of the Society, as appears by his account above stated||314 5 11|
|For Expenses payable by the Parish, viz.
By the Passage of Willard's Family (11), say 8 Adults, from Portsmouth to Montreal, at 3£. 7s. 6d. each...
|27 0 0|
|Provisions for ditto, at 2£. 1s. 4d. each...||16 10 8|
|Proportion of Utensils, &c. for ditto, at 5s. 11½d. each...||2 7 8|
|Steam Tug for ditto, from Quebec to Montreal, at 3s. 4½d. each...||1 7 0|
|Passage and Provisions for ditto, from Montreal, at 1£ 2s 6d. each...||9 0 0|
|Pocket Money for ditto...||8 0 0|
|For conveyance of ditto to Portsmouth, and other expenses on that occasion, at 1£ 13s. 2d. each...||13 5 4|
|Clothing for ditto...||10 3 6|
|87 14 2|
|Provisions for 54 Adults, at 2£. 1s. 4d. each...||111 12 10|
|Proportion of Utensils, &c. for 54 Adults, at 5s. 11½d. each...||16 1 9|
|127 11 7|
|For Conveyance of 54 Adults to Portsmouth, and other expenses on that occasion||88 5 11|
|Clothing and Tools...||94 11 6|
|183 0 5|
|398 9 2|
|742 15 1|
|Total Expense payable by the Parish, as above shown...||308 9 2|
|Total Recipts on account of the Parish, as shown on the Dr. side...||70 15 0|
|Balance payable by the Parish of Dorking...||327 14 2|
Copy of a Letter from Cornelius Cosins to Mr. John Bartlett, Smith, in Dorking, son of Charles Cosins (the late occupier of Redland Farm,) aged 20.
October 7, 1832,
According to promise I write to you at last. I should have wrote before but I had not any chance. I have had plenty of work since I have been here. I hired with a Dutchman the first month, 12 dollars and my provision. I live in a Dutch settlement in the township of Waterloo, 700 miles up the country. I have not worked at Blacksmithing not yet. I can earn plenty of money here at any work. Sometimes I can earn a dollar a day and my board. I like this country very much; it's a far better place than old England. There is fine land here full of timber, the finest I ever saw. Some of the trees is 250 feet in length. This country is improving very fast. It wants people to come here with money; they will do some good here. You may buy land very cheap here. Pray tell some of the Dorking gentlemen to come out with the next they sends out of Dorking. We was used very bad in coming over the seas. ******** ***** got into the cabin along with the captain and the steward and they used us very badly. We did not have the things that was put aboard for us. We had a long passage; we were nine weeks on the seas but we all got safe to land at last. The Cholera has been very bad here. There is thousands died but it's got better now. There is a great many people come out this year with money. The people that means to come here, they better come as soon as they can, for the land gets higher every year. It's of no use for poor men to come here with young families, for they find a great deal of trouble to get the children up the country; young men and women does best here. It's no use to bring much luggage, you will find it a good deal of trouble to you. You can buy every description here and as cheap as you can in England. Please to tell Mr. Marsh that Mary* has got a situation as soon as she got here. She is living with an English gentleman in the town of Guelph, 12 miles from where I live. No more from me at present.
P.S. Some people in England think that letters are opened, but there is no such thing. If a man land here with two hundred pounds, he can do wonders.
* Mary Cosins, aged 18, the sister of the writer, and late in the service of Mr. R. Marsh, Draper.
Copy of a Letter from Charlotte, wife of Wm. Willard,* to her sister, Mrs. Wolgar, of Milton Street, Dorking.
August 26, 1832.
My Dear Sister,
No doubt you are very anxious to hear from us, I am thankful to say we all arrived safe in Upper Canada. We are 60 miles from York, 15 from Dundas, though we travelled all the way by water, except 20 miles by land. We are very near the back settlements of America. We are situated in a very pleasant spot, 12 acres cleared land, two houses, outbuildings, beautiful spring of water like your orchard water at Milton. Twelve shillings we give for a sow and 5 pigs, but we expect to have a cow, and there is about half-a-dozen here, and every thing are so much cheaper to what they are at England. The man that built this house lived here five years, he said he had not a penny, he was a shoemaker; he had 4 cows, 2 oxen, pigs, chicken, ducks, geese. There was'nt a tree cut down when he came, now there is a garden and 12 acres clear land and plenty of wood around us they are glad for us to burn. A plenty of maple tree that we make sugar of the sap; they get in March. We live under Capt. Roberts who has 200 acres of ground, and this spot he will let us have at 25 dollars a year which is £6 : 5s. English money.
My dear sister, I can assure you we live in a good friendly Christian country. There is a chapel about a mile from us and 20 houses. My father and Wm. Has a dollar a day and their board. James has 1s.3d. a week and his board. John and Charlotte is out. Dear sister I don't repent leaving England. The children are all very happy and well; David is very stout: they were at home a board of ship. I wish we had come years ago. Dear sister please give my kind love to my father, brothers and sisters and their family and all our friends, and wishes you were all here for you could never repent leaving England, for my brother Henry Willard has got a place and they wants to keep him till he is 21 years old, but we are not determined about it, and if Uncle James is in the same mind he was when we left England, I hope my dear sister you will not be backward in coming for we did not fear the water, you will not have half the care as I have had with the children, fearing that they will fall overboard, but you will not have that care on your mind, and I hope you will come next April if it is possible for you to come. Put forward for Sarah Britt, Tommy and Amey to come. We have great reason to thank God that we all got here safe, and there is the same Providence over you as there was over us. It was very hard parting with you thinking never to see you any more, but I hope you will try your best to get here, you will not have the care on your mind as we had, not knowing were to go to, or what we was going to do, for you know that we tried the road for you, and I hope you will follow us, and now shall tell you a few things about what I think you ought to bring. We was very sorry that we did not bring our grate, for it would have been very useful, and many other things would have been very useful. Get a good strong chest. Do not come away without things for your use, such as dishes, posts, embden grits, and now I am going to tell you what will be on board ship, bring a few onions, a little arrow-root, and a little vinegar, and plenty of bread baked hard, and I can tell you that we should have been very glad to had a morsel of bread before we got to Quebec. My dear sister we are very thankful that you did not come with us, for we had a very uncomfortable set to come with; there was not a day went over our heads but what there was a quarrelling or a fighting, with it, made it very uncomfortable, and for the reason I am very thankful that you did not come with us. On Tuesday the 22nd of May we saw land, on the 24th we came to the gulf, on Sunday the 27th of May we saw the snow on the hills, I was so cold, we could not stand upon deck, and there was such mountains as never was seen in England, the Pilot came on board the 28th, the Dorking fair day. It was just 8 weeks when we got to Quebec, on Saturday afternoon. Tell Mrs. Tocker of Albury, there was two gentlemen came on board Sunday morning, I shewed them the letter, and they knowed the gentleman well, and was with him the day before, and told me if I could get to go to shore that they would direct me were to find him, but our Captain would not suffer one to go ashore, except the Doctor and himself, and I ask the Doctor to take the letter to the gentleman, and the Doctor left it but never see the gentleman himself, and so I heard no more about that. We have nobody to thank for but the Captain. They had plenty of every thing in the cabin, we had nothing but musty biscuit and salt beef, I mention this because you should not come away without necessaries. We arrived at Montreal, Wednesday morning, and Saturday morning we went out of ship, and then we went into the stores, and we stop there till Monday, and then we got into the boat, we was a week going up the river to Prescot. We was one night there. We went into a very fine steam boat, Great Britain. The last voyage it carried 700 people. There was 500 when we was in, and we arrived at York Friday morning, and it is a very beautiful place, and if we had stop there we could have got work, but lodging was so dear. Mr. Harper and John Worsfold we understood went to Hambleton[Hamilton] by land. We arrived at Hambleton on Monday morning. We have heard no more about them, and we are very anxious to find them, and they have wrote home to England, I will thank you to give the directions. Give our kind love to John Wolgar and mary, and tell them that it is the best thing as ever they did to come to America, they will never wish to go back again. They don't put up dinners in this Country, but they dine along with the masters and mistresses as you call them in England, but they will not be called so here, they are equals-like and if hired to anybody they call them their employers. John Wolgar is to bring a good long rifle gun, for the Bears comes round us, I expect we shall get some in the fall, and there is pigeons, and pheasants, partridges, quails and rabbits. Dear sister you know that we could hardly get a taste of meat in England, but now we can roast a quarter of meat. Mutton is 1½d. per lb., port 3½d., veal the same, butter 7½d., sugar is the same as it is in England, and we are in hopes of making some sugar next season. One 100 weight of flour for 12s. 6d. They do not reap their wheat in this country, but they cradle it here, and it is worth anybodys while to lease here, for one good leaser could get a bushel of wheat a day, for they rake it in this country. There is no leasers in this country, they let the hogs eat it. I hope we shall be able to get a good grist this harvest. You must not be afraid to come acrost the water, I have been upon deck when the moon and stars shone beautiful, and have said that we must put our trust in God, for he is our only refuge, for I have thought of it a great many times, that Providence have been on our sides, and we have great reason to thank God for his kindness that we all got here safe, I should think it a great mercy that near 400 people came over in one ship and only one little infant died of them, and there was four births before we got there. Give our best respects to all kind friends at Dorking, London, Broadmore, and all that enquires after us. Tell James Willard that we wishes that he would bring a pitsaw with him for there is plenty of timber here, we may have it for cutting. There is two families arrived here this spring from London, one family's name was Heath, brogher to Counsellor Heath below Cold-harbour, and Maria have got a situation and gone with them to the gulf, about 20 miles from us, she is to have a pound a month, she would have got plenty of places coming up the country, but would not leave us till we got a little settled. We are very anxious to know where Harper is. We shall not take any land till we find out them.
We conclude, so no more from your affectionate brother,
William and Charlotte Willard.
* William Willard was a Carpenter by trade; a dispute having arisen relative to his settlement, the parishes interested in the solution of the question, viz. Dorking, Shiere, and Albury, rather than spend money in litigating so doubtful a case, wisely contributed £30 each towards the expense of conveying himself, his Wife, and seven boys, all young, to Canada. The ages of the respective members of the family were not taken, but the father was about 45.
When we were at Hambleton there is an old gentleman living there, the man's name Mr. Horezen, 77 years of age, he has been here ever since the American War, wished me when I wrote to give his compliments to Mr. Barclay's family, was quite old playmates together when Mr. Barclay was in the States. I am thankful to say we are all well at present, and happy, not wishing to return. If it's possible for you to see the children you would be astonished. The country agrees with us all at present. Maria, I am afraid you will not be able to read this scribble, hope the next will be better. Our best wishes to all. The Lord be with you.
My dear sister, since I wrote this letter Captain R. has sold this 100 acres, we have another house to go to, 2 acres of ground and garden. We are to live there all the winter for nothing, about a mile from this. Sovereign, 24s., half-sovereign, 12s. one shilling is 1s. 2d., sixpence is 7d. Tell John to bring as many farthings as he can get, and old halfpennies, they go for as much as a penny-piece, they call them coppers. Clothing is as cheap as in England. I mention this if the kind friends would be so kind as to give in money what they will give you, it will be more to your advantage. Give our love to sister Hannah, tell her I hope she will come when you come. James's family will be no burden to him here. I wish my poor father and friends was here, they would not want bread I can assure you all. It is a friendly and Christian country. We left David Percival at York well. I hope you will send a letter soon as possible, a long one. Send word how much this letter is coming.
Directions.-William Willard, Carpenter,
to be left at the Post-Office Dundas,
District of Upper Canada,
by way of New York and Liverpool.
Upper Canada and Township of Nelson.
I feel myself happy to have this opportunity of writing these few lines to let you know the situation of things, and how circumstances are with me at present. I am in the enjoyment of good health, and hope that these lines may find you my dear mother, and all my friends in the same enjoyment. I will now let you know what kind of a passage I had, after embarking we had a fair wind for three days, in which we sailed off in high glee, but after that we had a rough passage, all the way being contrary winds, but the hardest time was on the 2nd of May, when the wind was so heavy that they reefed all the sails and let her go with the wind, which lasted four-and twenty hours, and after a long a tedious passage of eight weeks we landed at Montreal. I was sea-sick three weeks, for fear of wearing your patience with this scrawl I shall be as brief as possible. After landing at Montreal I drew 25s. from the bank, which with the help of some money I drew at York when I came from Montreal, paid my passage to York in Upper Canada.
After coming to York I was only three days idle, when I found work about twenty miles from York, where I worked thirteen days on the road, at the rate of 2s. per day and board, and when I had been there the time above-mentioned, there came a farmer by the name of William Dornorman to me and wished to hire me for a year, which offer I accepted, and am now to work at the rate of £22 to £23 a year, a fresh hand coming from Europe cannot get as much at first as an American, not being acquainted with the work of this country; the land is of various prices, wild land or that which is uncultivated is from half-a-pound to £2 per acre, and that which is under cultivation is from £3 to £4 an acre.
|PRICES OF THE PRODUCE||EXOTICS|
|...................................£ s. d.||Tea from 3 to 9 shillings a pound.|
|Wheat........................0 5 0||Tobacco 7½d. a pound|
|Potatoes.....................0 2 0||Superfine broad cloth 15s. per yard|
Some cloths are as cheap as they are in England. My brother is bound apprentice to a Blacksmith, and as I expect he has wrote home I will not say any thing more about him. I expect to come home next summer, but no certainty. I hope you will write me an answer as soon as possible, ***** ******** has led his brother in a snare, and they are both in prison for stealing. Give my love and respects to all my enquiring friends. I add no more but remain your obedient and affectionate son,
N.B. Direct your letter to Nelson Post-Office for me.
Dear Father and Mother,
This comes with my kind love to you, hoping to find you in good health, as leaves me at present thank God for it. Me and John* my brother is now living about half a mile from each other, and likes the country very well, so far a great deal better than we expected at first, and James Rose is living about a mile from em and likes very well, he sends his love to father and mother, and all friends: and for two ******* they were well when they left me and ***** ****** he is with them, I expect they are in New York prison at present for breaking open stores, but the truth I don't know as yet. Please to send me word whether John Sturt is at home or not. We arrived safe but had a very long and rough passage of eight weeks and three days to Quebec, but instead of my being sorry and sick, I had a great deal of fun on the passage. You must give my love to James Murnick and Mr. Steadman, wife and family, and if he things of coming, I think this country would suit him very well, for Bricklayers has from 1 dollar to 2 dollars a day and plenty of work in the season. If Steadman should come out I wish he would be so kind as to fetch me a wife out with him, and if not give my love to my little girl; give my love to my brothers and sisters, and all friends, and you must excuse me for not writing before as I was not settled, and I hope my father and mother is more reconciled than they were. I hope if any emigrants is coming they will be aware of liquor, for it is so very cheap a coming up the country. So no more if we are never spared to meet again in this world, may we meet again in heaven, for Jesus' sake, so no more at present,
From your affectionate Son,
* John Scott, aged 20
October 4, 1832, Little York,.
I write these few lines hoping to find you in good health, as thank God it leaves us at present. George has been very ill with the fever and ague, is the reason I did not write to you before, but he is quite well now. Dear mother we arrived at Little York just 12 weeks from the time we left Capel, father and mother and the younger brothers and sisters are living 20 miles from us, but they are quite well. Charles and Mother is living with us and they are quite well. I saw Mrs. Chantler in July, she and her children was all well then, but her husband died in coming up the river Lawrence. Dear mother you will want to know a little about our passage. We had but very little wind till the 1st of May, and then it was very awful for a few hours, and we all wished ourselves on land, and the next day the wind was so much against us, that we lashed the helm and let the ship go where the wind might blow her, for they could steer her no longer, but we met with no further accident than a few of the births fell down. Little Hester died on the salt water, and that was ll that died in our ship. We were out of all necessary provisions in less than three weeks, but we had beef and biscuit enough to last us all the way. Dear mother, we like the country very well, and we have all plenty of work. George and Charles has built two houses, and the have got a driving shade 50 feet square, and a genteel cottage to build this winter, and if George has his health this winter we shall be able to purchase a hundred acres of land in the spring, which we have already looked out. Dear mother, we like Canada too well to come to England to live again, but if God spares us we shall see you as soon as we can work out land so as to pay our passage, but we will send you another letter before then. Dear mother, Mrs. Chantler told me you fretted yourself very much about me, which I was very sorry to hear, for I am much better off than I ever should have been if I had stayed in England. I shall be glad to hear from you all as soon as possible, give my love to all my brothers and sisters, ans to all friends. Dear mother, I shall hope for a long letter as soon as possible, to George Longhurst, at Thomas Montgomary's Tavern in Dundas Street, in the Township of Little York, Upper Canada, North America. Dear mother, I must conclude with my love to you, ever to remain your dutiful daughter Rebecca Longhurst. I had almost forgot to say any thing about my little Christiana, but she is quite well and almost runs alone.
You were kind enough to say you would forward our letters to any part of England, therefore we should be glad if you would send this to Mrs. Weller, at John Edward's Cold Harbour, Dorking, Surrey. Sir, we can say but little about the country in this letter, as we have been here so short time, but the climate is much the same as England, but vegetables quite as good, but fruit is not so fine, clothing is nearly as cheap as in England, all except flannel, and that is very dear. The Cholera Morbus has been very bad in York, but we are in hopes it is abated. Now I remain your humble servant,
(Written across where there are marks of sealing wax.) "I have dropped some sealing wax as I promised you."
Geneva, Ontario County,
State of New York.
My Dear Sir,
As I promised to write to my Dorking friends, and give them the truest information of this country, I now begin with you, I shall write to all I promised in turn, but I think that you may at some future time perhaps emigrate, I write to you first. If there is any information further you may want, I refer you to my brother, to whom I have written much. I shall pass over our long and very cold passage to New York, were we arrived safe the 29th of May. I engaged a tow boat to Albany directly, and slept on board that evening as she did not start for several days, we saved the expense of hiring lodgings. I gave 1 dollar each, half-price for children, and 6d. per 100 lbs. of luggage to Albany, 160 miles. I then engaged a tow-boat to Geneva, 228 miles for 1½ cents. per mile, and half price for children, and 2s. 3d. per 100 lbs. luggage to Geneva. In stating the prices I shall put all down in English money. It will astonish you, but I assure you it is strictly true. The prices at New York and Albany, I have written to my brother but I shall give you only the prices here. Prime roasting beef 2½d. per lb.; fine fat small legs of mutton 2d. per lb., they weigh 6 lbs. and 7 lbs., thus I get a leg of mutton for 1s. English; quarters of lamb weigh about 9 or 10 lbs., very good 2d. per lb.; venison hams 5d.; hams of bacon 4½d.; fresh butter 6d. per lb.; cheese 3½d.; bullock's head and tongue 1s.; I also bought a bullock's heart and skirt that weighed 9 lbs. for 6d.; both of these are often given to the dogs, as are also sheep and lamb's heads. The heads are given to us for the dog. Vinegar 1s. per gallon; whiskey 1s. 3d. per ditto; cyder is selling now on the farm I hire at 3s. per barrel of 32 gallons; peaches from 1s. to 1s. 6d. per bushel; I bought a bushel at a shilling to fetch them but I could not then spare time; fine eels 6d. each; fish generally about 2d. per lb.; veal very bad, the Americans let the calf run with the cow and kill it when about a month or five weeks old, I purchased a quarter that weighed 16½lbs. For 1s. 3d., a bad colour but eat very tender and good; clothing about the same price as in England, except very fine cloth and woollens; hats about the same; shoes cheaper, the leather not so good, but I think cheaper than England. I have bought a pair of low shoes for 6s. that will serve with a little mending 4 months; Wellington boots, which are generally worn by all classes, for 2¼dollars, the commonest pairs; tin and iron is certainly cheaper than England; there is a brick yard close by me, the bricks are sold at 3 dollars per thousand; this will astonish you, but they make them faster than with you, in a mould 6 at once; the saw mills are a fine invention for this country; the fine and white wood boarding for the outside of houses are sold at 3½dollars to 5 do. per thousand feet; and ditto 1 inch thick boards at 7 dollars; and it is wonderful how cheap they build houses. The price of labour in haying and harvest is 3s. per day, and board for day work; for mowing and cradling grain, a good man will earn a dollar, 5s. per day and board, the men on this farm have done this all the haying and harvest; the usual price for day labour at the other parts of the year is half a dollar and board, if hired by the month 10 dollars for the month and board, at which price I am now working at. I engaged myself on first coming to Geneva for 19½ dollars the month, boarding myself, the rest of the haying and harvest at 3s. per day and board. In giving my opinion of America, I can truly say I am quite satisfied with the country, as far as I have seen of it, and it has fully answered by expectations, the only dislike I have is the Americans, they are very dirty, idle, drinking, and have no idea of comfort, but they are very civil, and give you every information in their power. Well as I like this country, I will never advise any one to come, as every thing is so very different here from England, that I cannot give you any idea of an American life. The idle and industrious all rise with the sun, the time of labour is from sunrise to sunset, but do not work so hard as in England. The expense of my family per week, house rent, fuel and every thing, cost me but 3½ dollars per week. I had almost forgot the groceries. Fine young hyson tea, equal to 12 s. per lb. in England, we buy here at 4s. per lb.; at New York for 3s. 6d.; sugar 4d. to 5d.; excellent coffee 8d.; neat painted chairs, made like your Windsor chairs, 2s. each; chests of drawers made of the curled maple, very handsome for 8 to 10 dollars; a new waggon for 60 dollars; they are very different from England, the wheels the same as carriage wheels, with a sort of rack fixed on them for carrying grain, this takes off, and then they place on a bed like a large square box for other things, as potatoes, apples or pumpkin; a new plough from 6 to 8 dollars, very strong yet light and convenient, and well adapted for the country, they plough all the land (so light is the soil which round here is a fine sandy loam, working very fine) with two horses, and in housing corn with two horses to the waggon, and a pair of reins, the driver riding on the top of the load, and going full trot to and fro, they carry about one-third of an English load of corn or hay; they are the most wretched set of farmers I ever saw, they plough a fallow but twice or thrice and then only begin cross-cutting it till harvest is over, giving it but one harrowing in a place, they sow 1 bushel to 1 bushel and a peck per acre, it appears to come up thick enough. The weather has been very fine since I have been here, having but little rain and yet enough; there has been no corn or hay spoiled or damaged this harvest. The summer has not been so hot as it usually is, excepting a few days when the thermometer stood at 96. I was pitching hay those days, but did not feel the heat any more than I have done in England. There has been some wether sheep sold off this farm in August for 1 dollar each in good running order, might weigh when fatted about 7 or 7½ stone; also 100 ewes for 1 dollar each was sold last month; a pair of fine 4 year old oxen, partly broke in for 45 dollars the pair; a good cow may be bought here for 21 dollars; I have bought a goose for 9 d.; I also bought three fowls for 1s., they are selling in the village at 5d. each; turkeys are very good and fine 1s. 3d. to 1s. 6d., we had one last Sunday for dinner at 1s. 6d.; fat hogs are sold by the 100 lbs. at 2d. per lb., some I believe at 1½d.; a fore quarter of beef at 1½d. per lb.; a hind quarter at 2d. The living here is excellent, at N. York we had for breakfast, tea, coffee, cold veal, hot beef steaks, fried mackarel, sausages, water cresses, bread and butter, custard and apple pye, all for 9d. each. The labourers all here keep a cow and take a newspaper which is published in the village at 2 dollars per annum; such is the effect of a country free of taxation; an almanack for 3d.; the best smoking tobacco 6d. per lb., common 4½d.; I bought some cigars for 1s.; the price of wheat is 1 dollar per bush.; superfine flour 5¼ dollars per barrel, excellent; the wheat yields well this year and is very fine, a good year for all farmers, no grumbling. Geneva is a beautiful place, situated on the fine Seneca lake, which is about 2 or 3 miles wide and 40 miles in length, it is as large a town as Dorking, and the goodness of the houses would astonish you; house-rent is cheap, a very good house for 60 dollars per year; wood is sold, brought in at 1½ dollars per load; I think there is a good chance for a baker here, as there are only two, and they only bake, do not sell flour; they charge for a 3lb. loaf 6d. William Tewsley arrived safe here and is opposite me, doing well, he has hired himself out at 10 dollars and board the month; his son Charles has 4 dollars and board, on this farm; Kitty, their daughter, is in Geneva at 1½ dollars per month and board. The storekeepers take every advantage of their customers, here and at Albany, they charge us 1s. per lb. for fresh butter; we went to market and by purchasing the whole lot from a farmer (8 lbs.), we had it for 7d. I cannot spare room to give you an account of the prices of farms, I must reserve that for my next letter to another of my Dorking friends. Mr. Able is staying with us at present, he prefers U. Canada for farmers, I intend going there or into the Ohio next spring, was prevented this year on account of the Cholera there, Geneva has escaped. My wife joins me in respects to you, Mrs. Rose and all friends, and may the Almighty preserve you in as good health as we are at present, and remain your's most truly,
* James Tewsley was a Farmer at Dorking, and went to New York with his family in the Spring of 1832. Although not one of the emigrants who went together from Dorking, his letter is published from the valuable information it contains. He writes from Geneva, which by reference to the map, will be found upon the South side of the Lake Ontario, whilst York, where the Dorking emigrants are settled, is situated upon the North side.
Hamilton, North America,
December 15, 1832.
My Dear Father and Mother,
I take pen in hand to write to you after so long an absense, but I hope this will find you in good health as this leaves me at present. With pleasure I have to inform you that I like this country better than I did at first, and I make not the least doubt but that I shall do much better than at home; we had many difficulties to undergo before we arrived in this place, but we all have prospects of doing well. Mr. Harpur and J. Knight, and me have taken a farm and have got six acres of it cleared and sowed with wheat, and hopes to have 10 acres of another grain in the Spring, it is at Flambro' East about 12 miles from Hamilton and 13 from the Gulphs, 8 from Dundas and 40 from York, and all the places have good markets. I am at present at work at the town of Hamilton and there I am treated as a gentleman for the art of graining and flatting is not much known there, I get one pound a week English money and board and lodging, I have every thing that I want, I may have beefsteaks or other meat for breakfast and what I like to drink, but I think I shall start for myself next Summer and if I do I shall have 7s. 6d. per day, which is the regular price that masters have for journeymen; tell John Fuller this is a fine country for him and his family, and if he chooses to come next year I will be bound that he will get on saving money fast, and if he comes tell him I should like him to go in partnership with me, and tell him to bring a badger's hair softner as I cannot get one, and diamonds are worth in this country 6 or 7 pounds; it is much easier to start in business than at home, and every prospect for him as he is so good a workman; tell him that I am the head man and best workman in the Upper Province, tell him if he comes he will do well. I hope that you received the letters I sent you before, I have sent 3, one from Quebec, one from Montreal, and one from York, and I hope they cost you nothing as the Doctor promised to put them in the Dorking post or call and deliver them to Mr. Patching, the one sent from York I gave to a person who came out in the vessel with us and was going back again to fetch his family, after getting home for them, he promised to put it in the London post for me, and the one from Quebec I expect will cost you, I could not pay the post to England for you. I have not yet seen the wild Indians you told me of, but I have seen the Indians, but they are a different kind of people to what you expect they are, a very good sort of people and bears a much better name than the wild men and are a very honest people, as for wild animals I have seen but few, there are some bears in the wild parts of it, and a few wolves, but they are very shy; there is plenty of deer, rabbits, pheasants, and pigeons to shoot at, it is a fine country to live in, for there is little danger of starving, and the country appears generally pretty well settled, the Upper Province is a good deal like England, there is plenty of towns as good as at home, the town of Hamilton is as good as Dorking, and will be in a few years much better, and as it regards money I get money for labour and likewise for grain of all descriptions. Wheat is about 5s. per bushel, beer is the dearest article and 6d. per quart wine measure, but there is plenty to be bought. Mr. And Mrs. Williard have been to see mr. And Mrs. Harpur, and they are very comfortably situated, and I understand are doing pretty well, but I suppose you have seen the letter that they have sent, they are quite well and desires their kind regard to you and their love to Mrs. Wolgar, and hopes she is in good health. Edward Hunt has been with us, but went away to Prescot for a box that he left there, and we have not heard of him since neither can trace any thing of him which is now nearly six weeks since, and I am afraid something has happened to him, if that is the case and I can obtain any information, I shall write to his mother, but not till then, I hope that nothing has happened to him; Prescot is 300 miles from Hamilton. You know you used to talk of the rattle-snakes, but I do not fear them now, for I have killed two this summer, they are not so bad as is represented. You can get plenty of Hyson tea at 3s. 9d. per lb. English money, sugar 6d., and things generally much cheaper than in England. We have got a house built on our fam with two rooms up and two down and nearly all paid for, farming men gets 3s. 4d. per day and in harvest 4s. 10d. per day English money, good beef 2d. and 3d. per lb., and mutton 2d., pork 2½d., and flour 14s. and 15s. per hundred weight. Tell Mrs. Marden she had better come here and bring her wash tub with her, for it is a fine country for washing, it is as good as a trade. I wish you to give my Christian regard to Mr. And Mrs. Patching, and tell them I am comfortably settled in Hamilton, Upper Canada; I should like to see them but I must wait a few years first; give also my Christian regards to Mrs. Botting and family, and Charles Grinstead, and enquiring friends. Please to write to me soon and send me a long letter, and tell me all the news you can. Good bye, for I must write no further, but leave room for the direction.
So no more from your dutiful Son,
Direct to me, Hamilton, Gore District, Upper Canada, North America. Hamilton Post-office
The Following Letters Were Written
Persons Who Went Out With
The Emigrants from Dorking,
And are therefore inserted as describing the situation of
some of the same party.
From Letters of Persons who sailed from Portsmouth with the Petworth Party, April 11th,1832.
From George Hill, late a labourer at Sullington, Sussex.
Ancaster, August 5, 1832.
We was six days coming up from Montreal to Prescott, which was a very tedious journey; the boats are drawn up the rapids in some bad places with eight or ten yoke of oxen. We have been here five weeks. I like the country here very much, but my wife don't seem to be quite so well contented, yet I got work the first day I was here, and have had plenty of work ever since. I got 6s. per day (New York currency, which is 3s. 9d. English money,) and be boarded. Farmers and labourers all sit at one table here. We get 5s. per day English money, and be boarded. I don't wish to persuade any one to come over, for they must expect to see a good many hardships; but I know that a poor man can do a great deal better here than he can at home: he is sure to get plenty of work if he is steady, and can live cheaper. Puddock and me have rented a very good house at 1£ per month English money. I have bought a cow for 5£ and a young sow for 12s. 6d. We work here from sunrise to sunset, but we don't work so hard as we do at home: we rest through the day very often; they are not so particularly here about losing a little time as they are at home. Jane (she is twelve years old) is out at service for a year at 10s. per month English money; George (aged ten) is with a Mr. Gabriel Gurnett, of Horsham (i.e. late of Horsham, Sussex, a saddler.) Dear father and mother, we left you almost broken-hearted, but you may be satisfied that we have bettered our condition by coming here.
From The Same.
Ancaster, August 6th, 1832.
Dear Brother and Sister, If you think anything about coming, you must com[sic] by New York. I do'nt perswade you to com against your will we can live cheaper here than you can in England there is a great many difilekings geeting here: if you come you will have me to come to, but when I com I had not one to com to. Dear Brother if you do com it will be the hapeis hour I ever new...No beer in this country, plenty of wisky 1s. a quart, but that is onley 7½d. in our country. We likes the country very well, and it is a pleasant place...thear is no beggars in this country, nor any charrages. Dr. Elizabeth Sister here is my kind love to you and all your famely. I hope you will be satisfied this Leeter com from mee: make your self contented for I think I shall do my self som good better than if I had been in England...I neglect righting to you before but it was on A count of my child been so ill so long: she never new a well day after we left Portsmouth throw my having so much trouble that made me wish I had never left England, but I think I shant after a while. Almost all my neburs come from the States and they likes this country best &c. &c.
Copy of a letter from Edward Boxall, Parishioner of Petworth (late a soldier in the 36th Regiment) who sailed from Portsmouth, with the Petworth party, April 11, 1832:
Adelaid, Upper Canada, July 28, 1832.
Dear Mother, I take this opportunity to acquaint you that we arrived here safe and in good health on the 6th of July. Dear Mother, I was very fortunate in bringing my discharge with me, for I found when I landed at York on the 23rd June that all who could show their discharge was entitled to a 100 acres of land from the crown for their service, which I accordingly got; so if either of my nephews should like to come over here I will give them some Land to work upon; tell them to bring some tools and all the money they can get with them, and some upland seeds of all descriptions, and garden seeds too, and barley in particular. Wm. Cooper's land joins mine, but have got to pay two dollars per acre for his, and 6 y'rs to do it in: here is a river runs through the corner of my lot, and plenty of fish in it, and here is wild deer and Turkeys, Pheasants, Partridges and Rabbits, and any body may kill them. Catherine is very well at present but she was very sea sick comin over for some time; she sends her kind love to Ruth and all their Brothers and Sisters and all friends. Copy this letter and send to my Sisters, and tell them I will build them a house if they will come over here to live, so no more at present from yours,
Edward and Catherine Boxall
From William Cooper, Parishioner of Burton, Sussex.
Adelaide, Upper Canada, July 28th 1832.
Dear father and mother, brothers and Sisters, I hope this will finde you in good health as it leaves me preasant-I have been very well ever since I left England: we was seven weeks coming to Montreal, five weeks more coming up to Montreal, I have got 100 acres of Land at 2 dollars per acre and ¼ to be paid for at the end of three y'rs, and the rest in 3 y'rs more; in English money it comes to £41.13s.4d. in all; tell my brother James I saw Richard Carter and his wife at Little York, the are doing very well and said this would be a good opportunity for them to have come out this Country. I should for all my brothers to come here for here is plenty of work, and no dought but we shall do very well after next harvest. Edward Boxall and his wife and Wm. Philips from Merston and me have built us a shantee, and lives and works all together on our own land; we have got above two acres cleared and shall sow 6 or 7 acres of wheat this Autumn, and more in the spring. Dear Father I should like to have a malt mill and a few pounds of thread, and above all things a Newfoundland Dog for myself, and take this letter to Merston to Philips father and tell him to be sure to bring him a dog to catch the Dear and tell you what time of the year he means to come out so that you may all come together. Answer this as soon as you receive it; if you come in the spring or fall be sure you come by new York and from thear to Buffaloe, and then cross the Niagara river at the ferry, and wait for the Chippeway Steem boat to bring you up to Kettle Creek. When you arrive at New York, send us a letter and we will meet you at Kettle Creek. I have to tell Wheat is now selling at 1 Dollar a bushel, beef at 2½d. per lb. and mutton the same, and pork 4d. per pound in English money. Spirits is very cheap here. Farmer's men gets from 8 to 12 dollars a month and board and lodgings and washing and mending. I have no more to say at present, so I must conclude with my kind love to you all. I remain Your dutiful son Wm. Cooper-
direct to Wm. Cooper township of Adelaide to be left at Colonel Mount Delaware, North America.
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