James Kirby (ed), The British North American Almanac and Annual Record for the Year 1864 (1864)

Document Information

Date: 1864
By: James Kirby,
Citation: James Kirby (ed), The British North American Almanac and Annual Record for the Year 1864, Volume 1 (Montreal: John Lovell, 1864).
Other formats: Click here to view the original document (PDF).















[Page 102]

It was anticipated that the civil war in the United States would have greatly increased the Immigration into Canada. This expectation, however, has been but partially realized, the high rate of wages offered for laborers on railways and other works, and the inducements to enlist in the army, being sufficiently attractive to draw large numbers to the neighboring States. The total number of emigrants that arrived at Quebec during 1862, was 22,176, against 19,923 the previous year, being an increase of 2,253, or 11.30 per cent. Select committees of the Legislative Council and Assembly have been appointed to take into consideration the subject of emigration, and, especially, to report from time to time upon the best means of diffusing a knowledge of the great resources of the Province, so as to induce the influx of men of capital and manufacturing enterprise. These committees have corresponded with the leading agriculturists and manufacturers throughout the country, and the information thus obtained has been printed and circulated. In 1863, a pamphlet entitled “Canada, for the information of emigrants,” was published by authority.

GOVERNMENT EMIGRATION AGENTS.—A. C. Buchanan (chief agent), Quebec; J. H. Daly, Montreal; W. J. Wills, Ottawa City; James McPherson, Kingston; A.B. Hawke (chief agent U.C.), Toronto; Richd. Rae, Hamilton.

The following is a comparative statement of the nationalities of the emigrants during 1861 and 1862 :—


Year English. Irish. Scot. Germans and Prussians. Norwegians, Swedes and Danes. Other Countries. Total.
1861 3574 8180 2015 2040 8722 392 19923
1862 5180 5468 3026 2516 5289 697 22176


The following is a comparison of the sex and age for the same years:—


1861. 1862.
Cabin Steerage. Total. Cabin Steerage. Total.
Male, Adults. 964 7440 8404 1229 8765 10,004
Female, do. 476 5350 5826 618 5857 6465
Male, Child’n 96 2293 2389 135 2261 2396
Female, do 93 2263 2356 108 2134 2242
Infants 35 913 948 49 1020 1069
1664 18,259 19,923 2139 20,037 22,176


The above table shows that the increase in 1862 was in male and female adults without families.

Out of the total number of emigrants that arrived in Quebec in 1862, 14,401, or about 65 per cent., embarked from ports in the United Kingdom. and of these 12,466 came out by steamers, preferring to pay a higher rate of passage money in consideration of the greater Comfort and speed of the voyage. The larger portion of the emigrants have been farmers, clerks and traders, labourers and domestic servants. During 1862, there was a considerable increase in the number of miners and coopers.

The following statement shews the comparative increase to the population, by immigration, during 1861 and 1862:—


1861— Steerage pass. landed in Quebec 18,259
Proceeded to U.S. (58-70 per cent) 10,700
Remaining in Canada via Quebec 7,559
Arrived in Canada via United States 4,664
Total remaining in Canada in 1861 12,223
1862— Steerage pass. landed in Quebec 20,037
Proceeded to the States (46-07 pr ct.) 9,232
Remaining in Canada, via Quebec 10,805
Arrived in Canada via United States 6,395
Total remaining in Canada in 1862 17,200



1861. 1862.
Via Quebec 61-84 per cent. 62-82 per cent.
Via United States 38-15 “ 37-18 “.


Of the total number of emigrants remaining in Canada during the past two years, there appear to have settled,


1861. 1862.
In Western Canada. 68-40 per cent. 69-99 per cent.
In Ottawa District 11-12 “ 9-52 “
In Eastern Canada 13-68 “ 14-42 “
In Lower Provinces ___ “ 87 “
Unaccounted for 6-80 “ 5-20 “


The health of the emigrants from the United Kingdom was very good, only 7 deaths at sea having occurred amongst them. But a large mortality occurred among the foreign emigrants. The Norwegians lost 184 during the voyage, and 42 in quarantine, being over 4 per cent. of their whole number, and the Germans lost 102, being almost an equal per centage. This heavy loss was occasioned by measles, small pox, and ship fever, chiefly attributable to the crowded state of some of their ships, and neglect of the ordinary sanitary precautions. The English emigrants embark chiefly from Liverpool and Plymouth; the Irish from the ports of Cork, Londonderry, and New Ross; and the Scotch almost exclusively from Glasgow. The German emigration proceeds from Bremen and Hamburg, and the Norwegian is spread over 19 different ports.

The trades and callings of the steerage male adults during 1862 were as follows:—


British. Foreign. Total.
Farmers 1100 946 2046
Labourers 2419 1452 3871
Mechanics, Tradesmen, &c. 2091 336 2427
Professional Men 12 …… 12
Servants (men) 34 …… 34
Clerks and Traders 362 13 375
6018 2747 8765


Amongst the emigrants from England w:ere 69 families from the ribbon weaving districts of Bedworth and Coventry, the expenses of whose emigration were defrayed by public subscription. They were provided for among the farmers in the western section of the Province. 95 Cork coopers were sent out by the Cork Coopers’ Association, but not being familiar with the sort of cooperage required in this country, they bad to seek farm labor.

[Page 103]

COMPARATIVE STATEMENT of the number of Emigrants arrived at the ports of Quebec and Montreal from 1834 to 1862

Country. 1834 to 1838. 1839 to 1843. 1844 to 1848. 1849. 1850. 1851. 1852. 1853. 1854. 1855. 1856. 1857. 1858. 1859. 1860. 1861. 1862.
England 28561 30791 60458 8980 9887 9677 9276 9585 18175 6754 10358 15471 6441 4846 6481 7780 6877
Ireland 54904 74981 112192 23126 17976 22381 15983 14417 16165 4106 1688 2016 1153 417 376 413 4545
Scotland 11061 16311 12767 4984 2879 7042 5477 4745 6446 4859 2794 3218 1424 793 979 1112 2979
Con. of Europe 485 ….. 9728 436 849 870 7256 7456 11537 4864 7343 11368 3578 2722 2314 10618 7728
L. & ot’r Ports. 1346 1777 1219 968 701 1106 1184 496 857 691 261 24 214 ….. ….. ….. 47
96357 123860 196364 38494 32292 41076 39176 36699 53180 21274 22439 32097 12810 8778 10150 19923 22176


At the Ottawa agency, the arrivals during 1862 were 1,639; composed of 350 English, 62 Scotch, 410 Irish, 774 Germans, and 43 Norwegians.

At the port of Kingston, the number of emigrants landed during 1862, remaining in Canada, was 1,644; 163 from England, 322 from Ireland, 69 from Scotland, 1,048 from the States, 40 from Germany, and 2 from Norway.

At Toronto, the aggregate number of arrivals was 12,127; 1,725 from England, 1,721 from Ireland, 1,657 from Scotland, 1,700 from Germany, 4,794 from Norway and Sweden, and 530 via Oswego, Rochester, and Lewiston. 4,656 remained in Canada, and 6,941 are supposed to have gone to the States.

At Hamilton, the total number of arrivals was 18,349, viz.: 4,413 English, 3,515 Irish, 457 Scotch, 3,320 Germans, 107 French, 9 Russians, 12 Austrians, 616 Danes, 1,066 Swedes, 2,992 Norwegians, and 1,942 Americans.

The expenditure under the immediate superintendence of the Emigration Department, during 1862, amounted to $46,081, viz.:—


Foreign agencies $11,383
Quarantine establishment $5,389
Emigration (in direct relief) 12,021
Agency charges, rent, printing, &c. 5,227
Salaries 12,059


Grand total 810,145
Directions to Emigrants.—Under this head some extracts are given from the information published by authority for the guidance of emigrants:

On arrival in Canada, the emigrant should at once apply to the Government Emigration Officers, whose duty it is to afford him every information and advice. Those desirous of obtaining employment will find it to their advantage to accept the first offer, even if the wages should be less than they had been led to expect, as until they become acquainted with the country their services are of comparatively small value to their employers. Persons seeking situations as clerks, shopmen, &c. (for whom there exists no demand), and mechanics, who experience difficulty in obtaining employment in their respective trades, should accept the first offer that presents itself sooner than remain idle. Emigrants who have settle(1 destinations should remain about the city as short a time as possible after arrival. Farm laborers should proceed at once into the agricultural. districts, where they will be certain of meeting with employment suitable to their habits; and those with families will also more easily procure the necessaries of life, and avoid the hardships and distress which are experienced by a large portion of the poor inhabitants in our large cities during the winter season.

Protection to Emigrants.—The Imperial and Provincial Passengers Acts provide, as far as possible, against frauds and imposition, any instance of which should at once be made known to the nearest emigrant agent. The Provincial Passengers’ Act provides that emigrants may remain on board 48 hours after the vessel’s arrival (except in cases where the vessel has a mail contract), and that they shall he landed free of expense, lit proper hours; that no person without a license shall influence passengers in favor of any particular steamboat, railroad or tavern; that tavern-keepers shall have posted, in some conspicuous place, a list of prices to be charged for board, lodging, &c., and they will not be allowed to have any lien upon the effects of a passenger for board and lodging beyond five dollars. The personal effects of emigrants are not liable to duty.

Demand for Labor.—There is always a large demand for farm laborers and female servants; to this latter class especially, Canada offers great inducements, and every hard working respectable girl is sure to do well. Boys and girls over 15, carpenters, masons, bricklayers, blacksmiths and shoemakers, are also wanted.

Average Wages.—Farm labor per month, from $8 to $12, with board and lodging; female servants $2 to $5; Boys, over 13 years $2 to $8; Girls, $1 to $3; Mechanics per day $1 to $1.50, without board. Tradesmen found with board and lodging get little more than half the above rates of wages.

Disposal of Capital.—Emigrants possessing capital, say from £200 to £500, are advised to purchase or rent a farm with some little improvement upon it, instead of going into the bush at once. Parties desirous of in.vesting may obtain from 8 to 10 per cent. for their money on mortgage. The emigrant coming to Canada with a small capital, would act wisely, if, instead of buying land before becoming acquainted with its character and the kind of labor required in a new country—a proceeding invariably leading to various embarrassing expenses—he were to invest his money in the Savings’ Bank, hire a log shanty for his family in some neighborhood affording a good prospect of employment, and work at wages for a year or so, thus gaining the knowledge and experience necessary to realize independence. Such a course is not deemed degrading in Canada, and it is sure to result in ultimate good. Let it be borne in mind that all families coming to Canada, whether they be possessed of £100 or £1000, must fail, unless they come determined to labor themselves; and it may be asserted without fear of contradiction, that the head of a family who pursues this plan will, at the end of a few years, be far in advance of him, no matter what his capital may be, who has not taken to the axe and the hoe.

Improved farms may be purchased at from 5 dollars to 50 dollars per acre, according to situation and extent of improvement; or rented, with or without the option of purchase, at from 1 dollar to 4 dollars per acre.

Crown Lands in Upper Canada are sold for cash at 70 cents an acre, and, on time, at. one dollar an acre, one fifth to be paid at the time of sale, and the remaining four fifths in four equal annual instalments, with interest at 6 per cent. on the purchase money unpaid. On the north shore of Lake Huron, and at Fort William on Lake Superior, lands are sold on time at 20 cents an acre. All Crown Lands in the newly surveyed territory are subject to settlement duties, and no patent in any case (even though the land be paid for in full at the time of purchase) shall issue for any such land to any person who shall not by himself, or the person under whom he claims, have taken possession of such lands, within six months from the time of sale, and shall from that time continuously have been a bona fide occupant of, and resident on the land for at least two years, and have cleared and rendered fit for cultivation and crop, and had under crop, within four years at farthest from the time of sale of the land, a quantity thereof in the proportion of at least 10 acres to every 100 acres, and have erected thereon a habitable house, and of the dimensions at least of 16 x 20 feet. Timber must not be cut without license, except for agricultural purposes.

Land Regulations.—Land adapted for farming purposes can seldom be obtained from land companies, speculators or private individuals, under twenty shil-

[Page 104]

lings an acre. The Canadian Government, being desirous of preventing the acquisition of large tracts of lands by private companies or private individuals, for the purpose of speculation, have coupled the sale of the Government lands with such conditions as to prevent undue or improper advantage being taken of their liberality in offering farming land at a low rate. Every purchaser must become an actual settler. In addition to the free grants, Government lands are sold either in blocks, or in single lots of 100 acres, to actual settlers. Lands in blocks are sold in quantities varying from 40,000 to 60,000 acres, at 50 cents (about 2s. sterling) per acre, cash, in Upper Canada; and in Lower Canada, at from 18 cents and upwards, according to situation, on condition that the purchaser cause the block to be surveyed into lots of from 100 to 200 acres each, on a plan and in a manner to be approved by the Government; and that one-third of the block be settled upon within 2 1/2 years from the time of sale—one-third more within 7 years—and the residue within 10 years from the time of sale. The settlers must have resided on their lots for two years continuously, and have cleared and cultivated 10 of every 100 acres occupied by them, before they can get absolute titles. Absolute titles will be given to the purchaser on payment in full of the price, and on his having resided at least two years on his lot, and cleared and had under cultivation 10 of every 100 acres occupied by him.

Emigrants and others desirous of purchasing; Crown Lands should make application to the respective local Crown Land agents, who are required by law to furnish all applicants with correct information as to what lands are open for sale. The Government Emigration agents at Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto and Hamilton, will afford information and advice to emigrants respecting the best means of reaching the localities in which they intend to settle. If the lot has not yet been advertised, and placed at the disposal of the agent, no sale of it can be made until that is done, unless the applicant is in actual occupation, with valuable improvements; in that case he may, at his own expense, procure the services of the agent (if the lot be within the jurisdiction of one), to inspect it, or furnish him satisfactory evidence, by affidavits of two credible and disinterested parties, or the report of a sworn surveyor, to enable him to report to the Department the following particulars, viz :—The whole time the lot has been occupied; by whom now occupied; the nature and extent of the improvements owned by applicant, and whether there are any adverse claims, on account of improvements made by any other party on the same piece or parcel of land. If the lot is public land, but not with the jurisdiction of any agent, an application should be made direct to the Department, applicant being careful, in order to avoid delay and prevent unnecessary correspondence, to transmit at the same time the evidence by affidavit or surveyor’s report; as above stated.

The same rules should be observed by applicants to purchase public lands situated in the old settled townships, with these additions; that, in cases where the applicant occupies improvements made by his predecessors on the lot, he should show by assignment or other evidence, how he obtained possession of them, and that he is now the bona fide owner of the same. The present full value of the land per acre, exclusive of improvements, should also be stated by the agent, the surveyor or deponents, as the case may be. All papers necessary to substantiate the applicant’s claim or right to purchase, if the application is made direct to the Department, should accompany the first application. All assignments, whether by squatters or purchasers, must be unconditional to be recognized by the Department.

Expense of Clearing, and Public Charges on Land.—The cost of clearing wild lands is about from 12 to 14 dollars per acre, The expense is, however, greater in the remote districts, in consequence of the difficulty of procuring laborers; but this work is ,generally done by contract. The only charge on land is a tax which seldom exceeds 1d. per acre. It is applied to local improvements alone, in which the persons taxed have a direct interest.

Capital required by intending settlers.—The capital required to enable an emigrant family to settle upon a free grant lot, or enter upon the occupation of the wild lands of the Crown, has been variously estimated. It should be sufficient to support his family for the first 18 months, until he can get a return from his land. In no case should it be less than £50 Cy.

Emigration in 1863.—The emigration returns show the number of emigrants arrived at Quebec to Nov. 8, 1863, to have been 1,268 cabin, and 17,521 steerage. Last year the number was 1,962 cabin, and 19,396 steerage. The decrease is accounted for by a decline in the Norwegian emigration of about 4,000 as compared with last year. The emigration from the United Kingdom and Germany increased in 1863.

Leave a Reply