1832 Emigrants Handbook For Arrivals at Quebec

Information published by His Majesty's Chief Agent for the Superintendence of Settlers and Emigrants in Upper and Lower Canada.

For The Use of Emigrants. (Gratis)

Quebec: Printed by Thomas Cary & Co. Freemason's Hall, Buade Street, 1832

Information For Emigrants

There is nothing of more importance to emigrants on arrival at Quebec, than correct information on the leading points, connected with their future pursuits. Many have suffered much by a want of caution, and by listening to the opinions of interested designing characters, who frequently offer their advice unsolicited, and who are met generally about wharves and landing places frequented by strangers. To guard Emigrants from falling into such errors--they should immediately on arrival at Quebec, proceed to the Office of the Chief Agent for Emigrants, in Sault-au-Matelot street, Lower Town, where every information requisite for their future guidance in either getting settlement on lands, or obtaining employment in Upper or Lower Canada, will be obtained (gratis.)

The following directions are of importance to the Emigrant arriving in Canada, and are addressed to him in the simplest language:--

Previous to disembarkation arrange your baggage in a small compass, the fewer packages the better, but have them well secured--old dirty clothing, large boxes, and other useless articles, are not worth the carriage. If you have any provisions left, such as oatmeal, potatoes, &c. You can sell them at Quebec at a profit, and avoid the expense of transport, and you can purchase baker's bread, butter, tea, sugar, and other necessaries more suited for your journey. All sorts of provisions, may be bought cheaper, and generally of a better quality, in Montreal and Upper Canada, than at Quebec. Dress yourself in light clean clothing. Females frequently bring on sickness by being too warmly clothed. Cut your hair short, and wash daily and thoroughly. Avoid drinking ardent spirits of any kind, and when heated do not drink cold water. Eat moderately of light food. Avoid night dews. By attending to the preceding directions sickness will be prevented, with other serious inconveniences. When every thing is ready for disembarkation, and, if the ship is lying at anchor in the river--take care in passing from the ship to the boat; avoid all haste, and see that your baggage is in the same conveyance with yourself, or left under the charge of some friend, with your name on it. If the ship hauls to the wharf to disembark, do not be in a hurry, but await the proper time of tide when the ship's deck will be on a line with the quay or wharf. Passengers are entitled by law to the privilege of remaining on board ship 48 hours after arrival; and it is unlawful for the Captain to deprive his Passengers of any of their usual accommodations for cooking or otherwise: you may therefore avoid the expense of lodgings, and make all your arrangements for prosecuting your journey, previous to disembarkation. Should sickness overtake you, proceed immediately, or be removed to the Emigrant Hospital, in St. John's Suburbs, where you will be well taken care of, and provided with every thing needful until restored to health. Medicine and medical advice can also be had at the Dispensary attached to the Quebec Charitable Emigrant Society. This Society will grant relief to all destitute Emigrants. In Montreal there is a similar institution for the relief of Emigrants. It is particularly recommended to Emigrants not to loiter their valuable time at the port of landing; but to proceed to obtain settlement or employment. Many have regretted when too late that they did not pursue this course, and take advantage of the frequent opportunities that presented themselves for settlement in convenient situations[sic] in Upper or Lower Canada, instead of squandering their means and valuable time to looking after an imaginary Paradise in the aguish swamps of Illinois and Missouri, or other distant regions of the Western States. There is no portion of the American continent more congenial to the constitution or habits of Emigrants from the United Kingdom, or that offer a wider field, or surer reward for industry and good conduct, than the fertile districts of Upper Canada or Lower Canada. Many Emigrants will din employment in the city of Quebec and its vicinity, as also in and about Montreal. Single men in particular are advised to embrace the offer; but Emigrants with large families had better proceed without delay, to Upper Canada, as hereafter directed--or, to situations in Lower Canada, particularly the Eastern Townships--and if they have sons and daughters grown up, they will find a sure demand for their services. Artificers, and Mechanics of all denominations, and farming Labourers, if sober and industrious, may be sure of doing well. Blacksmiths, particularly those acquainted with steam engine work, also good Mill-wrights, Masons and Sawyers, by machinery, are much wanted in the Canadas.

The tables at the conclusion of this work, will shew the prices of provisions and rates of wages in Upper and Lower Canada in 1831.

A great number of Labourers are employed on board ships, and about timber yards, during the summer months at Quebec and Montreal, who get from 3s. to 4s. 6d. a day, and generally found. The extravagant habits engendered in such occupations, are decidedly in favour of the labouring Emigrant proceeding immediately to the country. Emigrants with families, and who are possessed of from £20 to £25, are advised to push immediately into the woods, in the vicinity of old settlements, where they can obtain provisions for their spare labour. (The difficulties, although great at first, soon subside, and much experience is the result; the cost of clearing wild lands, and making it ready for crop, is from 50s. to 70s. per acre, in Upper Canada and the Townships of Lower Canada.) To these I should say--select a favourable spot for your log house near a spring of water, or running stream, and where a cellar to keep your potatoes in winter can be dug under the house. (Carefully clear the timber and brush to a distance from your dwelling and out buildings, or in the event of fire in the woods, great risk is incurred of their being destroyed.) If you proceed to build houses and clear lands on a large scale on first arrival, it rarely succeeds so well, for the price of labour is so high, and the difficulty of getting persons to work, added to the great expense of providing food for increased numbers, until produced from your own land, ought in every instance to induce the strange Emigrant and family to proceed cautiously in laying out their money; but a crop of potatoes and fodder for a cow, is the first object, and this may be accomplished the first year, if you arrive early. The second you will be enabled to feed your family with the common necessaries of life, and the third year you may find yourself possessed of a yoke of oxen, a cow or two, and a year old calf, a couple of pigs, poultry, &c. Abundance of provisions for your family, and fodder for your cattle. The Irish and Scotch peasantry know well how to value the economy of a milch cow; every new settler ought to strive to obtain one as soon as possible, taking care to provide a sufficiency of fodder, for the long winter. Cattle require a little salt in the Canadas. It is not considered necessary to go farther into the details of the first settlement, as on all these points you will be guided by your own observation on the spot, and the advice you will get from the Local Agents and superintendents. Great caution is necessary in all your transactions. When you stand in need of advice apply to the Government Agents, or other respectable sources. You will find many plans and schemes offered to your consideration, on your route from Quebec to your destination in Upper Canada; but turn away from them--unless you are well satisfied of the purity of the statements. Should you require to change your English money, go to the Banks or some well known respectable person. The currency in the Canadas is a t the rate of 5s. to the dollar, and is called Halifax Currency. The value of English gold, or silver, is regulated by the rate of Exchange on England, which fluctuates. At present the gold sovereign is worth 23s. 6d. to 24s. currency. In New York 8s. is calculated for the dollar; hence many are deceived when hearing of the rates of labour, &c..--5s. in Canada, is equal to 8s. in New York; thus, 8s. New York currency is equivalent to 5s. Halifax. In Upper Canada, and in the Townships of Lower Canada, the tenure of Lands is "Free and Common Soccage," as in England. In the Seigneurial or French parts of Lower Canada, the feudal or French tenure is the custom. In the Canadas you live under the British laws, and constitution, and are less incumbered with taxes or local imposts, than in any other country, on the face of the globe. You ought, previous to leaving Quebec, to apply at the Post Office; should you expect any letters; and if you are writing to your friends in the United Kingdom by Post, you must pay the Postage; so also, when writing to the United States. Letters from one part of the Canadas, to the other, do not require to be Post paid. Emigrants may forward letters, to the United Kingdom, from Quebec, by taking them to the Keeper of the Merchant's Exchange, and paying one penny for each.

Having arranged all your business at Quebec, you will proceed without loss of time to Montreal, by steam-boat, on your route to Upper Canada. Two steam-boats ply daily to Montreal, 180 miles up the St. Lawrence, which is performed in 24 to 30 hours. The fare for deck passengers, is 7s. 6d. for adults,--children from 3-12 years pay half price, and under 3 free. These steam-boats belong to private individuals. Government is in no manner connected with them. At Cornwall, Prescott and By-Town you will find Government Agents who will advise you should you require it.

Routes, by the St. Lawrence and Lakes, to the principal places in Upper Canada, are as follow:

Quebec to Montreal, by steam-boats......7s. 6d.

Montreal to Prescott, by Durham boats..6s. 3d.

Prescott to Kingston, by steam...............5s. 0d.

Ditto to Coburgh, or Port Hope..............7s. 6d.

Prescott to York, Capital of Upper Canada, ..Hamilton and Niagara..........................10s.

From Niagara, you proceed by land to Fort Erie, opposite Buffalo on Lake Erie, where steam-boats, or sailing schooners will convey those destined to Port Talbot, or other parts of the London District, or vicinity of Lake St. Clair. Persons going to settle on the Lands of the Canada Company, will proceed to York or Burlington Bay, head of Lake Ontario.

At most of the preceding Towns and landing places you will find Government Agents. If you are bound to Perth, or New Lanark, or the vicinity, disembark at Prescott; or you may go by way of By-Town (present-day Ottawa) on the Ottawa. If for the thriving settlements in the Newcastle District, disembark at Coburgh or Port Hope, on Lake Ontario. Those going to the Township of Seymour may proceed from Kingston, by the beautiful Bay of Quinte to the mouth of the Trent River, from whence a road, distance 18 miles, brings you to Seymour. If proceeding to the Home or Western Districts, disembark at York, the Capital of Upper Canada.--Emigrants going any where beyond York, will in general find it their interest to make it their route. If for the London District, proceed by the Niagara frontier, to Lake Erie, and the Talbot Settlement. If for By-Town, Grenville, Hull, Horton, or other situations, on the Ottawa River; proceed from Montreal, and Lachine, by the usual conveyances.

Crown Lands, of the most fertile quality, are prepared for the reception of Emigrants in many parts of Upper Canada, and will be sold payable by instalments. The following Offices, have been opened by the Commissioner of Crown Lands in Upper Canada for the convenience of Emigrants:

Mr. NcNaughton, at By-Town, will superintend the Location of Emigrants in the Bathurst and Ottawa Districts.

Major Campbell, of the Township of Seymour, will superintend settlements in that township and its vicinity in the Midland District.

Mr. McDouall, of Peterboro, for the Townships of Dummer, Belmont, Burleigh, Hervey, Verulam, Ops, Douro and Fenelon in the District of Newcastle.

Mr. McPherson, at Napanee, for the Townships of Tyendenoga, Richmond and the Townships on the Bay of Quinte.

Mr. Ritchie at Medonto, for that Township, Sunnidale, Oro and Orelia, in the Home district.

Mr. Mount, at Carradoc and between that Township and St. Clair in the Western District.

Emigrants may obtain employment, for two or three months, on the roads in the Johnston, Newcastle, Western and Home Districts of Upper Canada.

Lower Canada

Routes to the principal settlements in Lower Canada, are as follows:

District of Quebec, south side of the River St. Lawrence.

Township of Frampton, 36 miles from Quebec by Point Levy, a thriving settlement, inhabitants mostly Irish.

Townships lying contiguous to the Kennebec Road, beyond Frampton, offer good prospect for settlement. The lands are principally private property. The Seigniory of St. Giles, 30 miles from Quebec, by St. Nicholas and the Craig's Road, is favourably situated for Emigrants, from its contiguity to the Capital, and is increasing rapidly, its population is principally Irish.

New Argyle, in the Seigniory of St. Croix, 8 miles from Richardson's Tavern, on the Criag's Road, in St. Giles, and 38 miles from Quebec; the new Road to the Township of Inverness, passes through this settlement. Inhabitants, principally Highlanders from the Island of Islay, and Irish.--The Lands in this part are of good quality.

The settlements of Ulster, Yorkshire, Dublin, and New Hamilton, commence four miles beyond New Argyle, and 42 miles from Quebec, and are situated in the flourishing Township of Inverness: through which a new Road has been nearly finished to the borders of the Township of Halifax. The inhabitants of Inverness are from various parts of the United Kingdom.--Those from England are principally from Yorkshire,--those from Ireland, mostly from the Northern Counties,--and those from Scotland, are chiefly Highlanders from the Island of Arran. Beyond Inverness lie the Townships of Halifax, Chester, and Tingwick; good lands for settlement; but at present there is no convenient road to them. The Township of Athabaska joins Inverness, and is a desirable place for settlement.

The Township of Leeds, through which Craig's Road passes, lies to the left of Inverness,--is 50 miles from Quebec, and is increasing rapidly in population. Inhabitants, Scotch, Irish and English.

The Township of New Ireland, through which Craig's Road also passes, lies beyond Leeds, 60 miles from Quebec and is increasing much in Population. The Inhabitants are principally Irish, and a number of English of the Wesleyan connexion, also about 25 American families from the United States.

Craig's Road leads to Shipton and Dudswell, but is impassable for wheel carriage transport beyond Ireland.

From the Market-slip, in the Lower Town of Quebec, ferry-boats go daily as the tide suits, to St. Nicholas, 12 miles up the river on the south side, where Craig's Road begins.

Eastern Townships of Lower Canada. The present route is to Three Rivers, 90 miles above Quebec, by steam-boat,--here cross the St. Lawrence to the south side and proceed to Sherbrooke, by Nicolet, La Baie, and Drummondville, or you may proceed to Sorel, 40 miles above Three Rivers on the south side of the St. Lawrence, and there disembark; the rate of passage from Quebec by the steam-boat, will be a trifle more than it is to Three Rivers, but you will avoid the ferry,--a good road leads from Sorel to Sherbrooke, by Yamaska and Drummondville.--The distance from Quebec to Sherbrooke in a straight line by the new road to Inverness, when finished is 99 miles, and by Three Rivers or Sorel, the route obliged to be taken for transport, is 160 miles, of which 70 is land carriage.

Sherbrooke is the Capital of the Eastern Townships, and is surrounded by thriving settlements, particularly Stanstead, where industrious farming labourers or mechanics are much wanted, and are sure (by good conduct) to do well; as also, in the Townships of Stanbridge, Brome, Dunham, Potton and the Seigniory of St. Armand; the route to which is by St. John's.

Chambly is 40 miles from Sorel and 18 from Montreal,--Labourers may get employment at the Canal now making at Chambly. Chateauguay, Godmanchester and Sheringron, from 25 to 40 miles from Montreal, south side of the St. Lawrence, are thriving situations.

North side of the River St. Lawrence, and in the District and vicinity of Quebec, are the settlements of Beauport, Stoneham, Tewksbury, Valcartier and Jacques Cartier, Deschambault, and the settlement of Portneuf. Inhabitants, principally Irish.

Three Rivers and its vicinity, 90 miles from Quebec, give employment to many Emigrants.--In the rear of Berthier, 130 miles above Quebec, are the Townships of Brandon, Kilkenny, Rawdon and Kildare.

New Glasgow settlement in the Seigniory of Terrebonne, is about 30 miles from Montreal,--Persons bound for the Townships bordering on the Ottawa River, particularly Lochaber, Templeton, Hull, &c. Will take their route and departure from Montreal. There are many desirable situations for settlement belonging to private individuals in Upper and Lower Canada. The names of the Proprietors or the Agents may be had on application at this office.

It is particularly recommended to Emigrants to be exceedingly cautious in ascertaining the titles to such lands as they may settle on.

Recommendation for lands to the respective Township Agents and Superintendents of settlements in Upper and Lower Canada, with routes, &c. Will be furnished to Emigrants (gratis).

A.C. Buchanan, Chief Agent. Emigrant Department, Quebec, 1st June, 1832.

Emigrants arriving at Quebec from the United Kingdom, and who are desirous of settling in Upper Canada, or Lower Canada, or of obtaining employment, are informed that all necessary information for their guidance may be obtained (gratis) on application at this Office, between the hours of 10 and 3 o'clock daily, Sundays excepted.

The principal situations in Upper Canada where arrangements are made for Locating Emigrants are in the Bathurst, Newcastle, Home and Western Districts. Indigent Emigrants, on condition of actual settlement, may obtain a Location on the following terms, viz: Fifty acres of land will be allotted to each head of a family, upon condition of paying at the rate of 5s. currency, per acre. The first payment of three pounds two shillings and sixpence is to be made at the expiration of three years, the remainder by annual instalments of an equal sum, with interest, commencing from the expiration of three years.

The Government will incur the expense of building a small Log House for the temporary accommodation of settlers on their respective Locations, and will afford some assistance towards opening roads to the lands proposed to be settled, but will make no advances in provisions or utensils, and the settlers must depend entirely upon their own resources for bringing their lands into cultivation.

Settlers with means will have opportunities of purchasing Crown lands in several parts of the Province at the public sales, due notice of which may be obtained on application at the Commissioner of Crown Lands Office York, or the following Government Agents:

Ottawa and Bathurst Districts--Mr. McNaughton, By-Town.
Newcastle District--Mr. McDougall, Peterboro.
Home District--Mr. Ritchie, Township of Medonto.
Western District--Mr. Mount, Carradoc and St. Clair.

A.C. Buchanan, Chief Agent

Lake Ontario Line of Steam Boats

Rates of passage by Steam Boats, GREAT BRITAIN and QUEENSTON, 1832.

To Brockville Kingston Cobourg and Port Hope York Hamilton Niagara
1st Cabin
2nd Cabin
1st Cabin
2nd Cabin
1st Cabin
2nd Cabin
1st Cabin
2nd Cabin
1st Cabin
2nd Cabin
1st Cabin
2nd Cabin
2s 6 2s 1s 3 12s 6 8s 9 5s 30s 17s 6 7s 6 40s 20s 10s 40s 22s 6 10s 40s 22s 6 10s
-- -- 12s 6 8s 9 5s 30s 17s 6 7s 6 40s 20s 10s 40s 22s 6 10s 40s 22s 6 10s
-- -- -- -- -- -- 20s 10s 5s 5s 30s 17s 6 7s 6 30s 17s 6 7s 6 30s 17s 6 7s 6
Cobourg & P.H. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 15s 7s 6 5s 20s 10s 7s 6 20s 10s 7s 6
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 12s 6 8s 9 5s 12s 6 8s 9 5s
---- -- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- 10s 7s 6 5s

Children between 3 and 12 years of age, half price, meals included in fare of first and second Cabins.

Each deck passenger allowed 1 cwt. of baggage.

Dogs charged 2s. 6d. each.

Passage from Montreal to Prescott, 6s. 3d. for adults, children under 12 years, half price, Infants gratis.

Freight of luggage, 3s. 6d. per cwt.

Apply to John McPherson &. Co., Canal Wharf, Montreal

Note: Persons intending to settle in Lower Canada, will find much valuable information regarding the laws and customs of the country by referring to a little Work published by Joseph F. Perrault, Esquire, Prothonotary, of Lower Canada, intituled, "A Rural Code for the use of the old and new inhabitants of Lower Canada," which may be had of Messrs. T. Cary & Co. Printers, at Quebec, for nine pence.

Upper Canada

The Cobourg Branch of the Newcastle District

Emigrant Relief Society.

Have now to announce the following information to Emigrants:

1. Shelter has been provided for Emigrants on their immediate arrival at Cobourg

2. Arrangements have been made for the care of destitute sick Emigrants on their landing.

3. Emigrants desirous of settling in the rear Townships of the Newcastle District, may receive every necessary information on application at the Office of the Society at Cobourg; as to the Lands for sale, whether of Government, the Canada Company, or individuals, with the prices of the same.

4. Contracts have been entered into, to convey Settlers who may wish to proceed to any of the following places, at the prices stated below.

To Peterboro Twelve Miles Land Carriage, and twenty-five Miles Water Carriage in a Steamer, at the rate of 25s. Per Waggon Load of 15 Cwt.
Asphodel do. do.
Belmont do. do.
Seymour do. do.
Howard do. 22s. 6d. p. Waggon
Monaghan do. do.
Campbellton do. 17s. 6d. p. Waggon
Otonabie do. ----

To any other points on the Rice Lake, or Otonabie River, a proportionate charge.

This society has also made arrangements at Peterboro, that the charge to such Emigrants as may be desirous of settling in Harvey, Mariposa, Verulam, or Eldon, shall not exceed, across the Communication between Peterboro and Mud Lake, the sum of 10s. per Waggon Load. The conveyance from thence to the different Townships being by water, the expence[sic] will be light.

Settlers for the North East part Dummer, and the Township of Belmont, will be landed at the nearest point to those Townships on the River Trent, where a Government Agent will probably be stationed, to shew Settlers the Lands, and give them every information and advice.

Settlers for the rear part of Seymour will be landed at Healy Falls, on the Trent: this Township has been placed under the direction of Major Campbell, who resides in the Township.

(By Order) J.G. Bethune, Sec. & Treasr., Cobourg Branch, N.C.E.R.S.

Cobourg on Lake Ontario, Upper Canada,

26th May, 1832.

Sale of Crown Lands in Upper Canada

Notice is hereby given, that a portion of the Crown Lands in the Township of Oro, Medonte and Orillia, on the Lake Simcoe, in the Home District, will be exposed to Sale by Public Auction, at the upset price of Five Shillings, Currency, per Acre: and also, a portion of the Town Lots in the Town Plots of Kempenfeldt Bay and Roach's Point, at the upset price of Ten Pounds, currency, each, and upon the express condition of building a stone, brick or frame house, not less than twenty-four feet long and eighteen feet wide, to be completed within two years from the day of sale. The sale to take place in the Court-House in the Town of York, on the second day of July next, at ten o'clock a.m.

Also--That the tract of Crown Land comprising the Townships of Ross, Pembroke, and Westmeath, bordering on Musk-Rat Lake, near Ottawa or Grand River, recently surveyed by Mr. John McNaughton, Deputy Surveyor, will be exposed to Sale by Public Auction, at the upset price of Five Shillings, currency, per acre, at the office of Mr. McNaughton, in the Town of Bytown, in the Bathurst District, on Monday, the second day of July next, at ten o'clock a.m.

The conditions as follows:--The purchase money to be paid by four instalments, with interest; the first instalment at the time of Sale, and the second, third and fourth instalments at the interval of a year between each.

Plans exhibiting the situation of the Lots may be seen at the Surveyor General's Office, York:--also of the lots in the Home District, with Mr. Richey in the Township of Medonte, and of those near the Ottawa River, with Mr. McNaughton, Deputy Surveyor, Bytown.

For the accommodation of Emigrants arriving in the Province with the intention of settling, an adjourned sale will take place monthly, until the first November next.

Peter Robinson, Commissioner of Crown Lands Office,

York, 21st May, 1832.

Source : © Marjorie P. Kohli, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, 1997, 1998

Last updated: April 1998 Email address sounds like: marj at ist dot uwaterloo dot ca

This file last modified 3/7/2016...

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