British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

want of that regularity and stability which always, but particularly in colonial governments, require. I have said this much, not in order to check the emigrations which may take place from the American States into Upper Canada, but because it appears to me from what is stated in your letter that there is every appearance of settlers coming from thence in sufficient numbers, and of their own accord, without going out of your way to entice or allure them. In short, my opinion is that if care is taken to render the situation of settlers under your government comfortable and happy, the fame of their being so will naturally spread itself, and produce sufficiency of emigration from other states. But nothing could be more justly offensive to other nations especially neighbouring states, than to make the emigration of their subjects a professed and avowed object of our Government. Any artificial steps taken to effectuate that purpose are not only offensive, but must be attended with considerable expense. Add to this that if such a plan was systematically adopted, it would produce retaliation, and I doubt in the present infant state of our province of Upper Canada, whether we should be ultimate gainers in such a contest.

Proper steps will be taken to put a stop to emigrations from hence, but as that cannot be entirely effected, it is certainly to be wished that such as quit this country may be induced to become settlers in His Majesty's colonies abroad. With respect to a table of fees, I have no doubt but that with the assistance of the present council you will find yourself enabled to form such a one as may with propriety be enforced for the present, subject to any corrections or amendments which His Majesty may think proper to make on your transmitting the same to me for His information. . . .


7
CHARLES HOPE TO THE DUKE OF PORTLAND, 2 June 18011

Edinburgh.

MY LORD,

By several letters lately received by the Board of Customs here, and by them transmitted to me, it appears that a very extensive emigration is taking place at present from various ports of this country to America, both to the British colonies of Canada and Nova Scotia, and still more to the United States. On receiving this intelligence, and knowing well not only the hardships which these poor people often suffer on the passage, but also the miserable disappointment which they generally meet with after their arrival, and considering also the probability that many of these people might be artificers and seafaring people, I

____________________
1
H.O. 102/18. Charles Hope became Lord Advocate of Scotland in Addington's administration. He had been for some years keenly interested in emigration problems. See K. Walpole, "'The Humanitarian Movement . . . to remedy Abuses in Emigrant Vessels'" Trans. R.H.S., vol. xiv, Lond. 1931.

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