British Colonial Developments, 1774-1834

By Vincent Harlow; Frederick Madden | Go to book overview

10
NOVA SCOTIA: LIEUT.-GOVERNOR LORD DALHOUSIE TO LORD BATHURST, 6 July 18171

MY LORD, Halifax.

The arrival here lately of several large ships from England with numbers of passengers and emigrants induces me to bring the subject before your Lordship.

The enclosed statement of complaints made by the passengers on board the Perseus I had taken down; and I submitted to His Majesty's Council here whether I could render them any aid, or compel the master/to carry them to their destination. The opinion was that there was no necessity for any interference in my official situation.

It appeared however that these people had been grossly imposed upon by the advertiser, FitzGerald, who with two brothers carry on a trade of this sort in London.

I leave it now to your Lordship to judge whether this matter be worthy of any further notice and by what steps.

I must add that it is quite lamentable to observe the state of misery and distress in which these people arrive here--finding no means of relief, they all proceed to the United States. . . . 2


11
EXTRACT FROM AN EDITORIAL IN THE TIMES 31 March 18183

An article in a Plymouth paper states (we use its own words) 'that the tide of British emigration to America is beginning to flow in this port, and many parts of the country around, to an extent which threatens the deprivation of some of our best artificers and workmen, and includes even persons, who, by their situation in life, might appear to have no cause whatever for quitting their country'. This is a subject of great importance, but full as much in a philosophic as a political point of view. We regret that our countrymen are leaving us. We think that, to a certain degree, they are the victims of infatuation and prejudice; and with a view to deter them, we have represented very fully, but we believe very faithfully, the hardships which they are to encounter, and the deprivations which they are to sustain, in other realms: however, there is no doubt that one part of the world as

____________________
1
C.O. 217/99, pp. 213-14.
2
The Passenger Act of 1817 (57 Geo. III, cap. 10), symptom of a changing Government attitude towards emigration, was somewhat easier in its conditions than that of 1803.
3
The Times, 31 March 1818: No. 10, 318, p. 2, cols. 4-5.

-401-

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