Information & Advice for Emigrants, 1883
By Børge Solem, 2013 - Old Allan Line booklet

THE "ALLAN" STEAMSHIP CO., IS UNDER CONTRACT WITH THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT FOR THE CONVEYANCE OF ASSISTED PASSENGERS. EMIGRATION TO CANADA. The Dominion of Canada comprises a Territory of 3,528,705 Square Miles. The Population numbers about 4,000,000 souls. The Climate is particularly healthy, the proportion of deaths to the population, according to a recent return, being only 1 in 98, as compared with 1 in 74 in the United States, 1 in 46 in England, 1 in 42 in France, and 1 in 40 in Germany. Nearly 6,000 miles of Railway are already in operation, and 2,000 miles are in course of construction. Extensive additional Canal Works are also in course of construction, affording the prospect of a large demand for
THE ROUTE FROM Great Britain to Canada, Manitoba, AND THE GREAT NORTH-WEST.
Passengers bound to any part of CANADA or the GREAT CANADIAN NORTH-WEST should, in the first place, take care to secure their Passage in a Steamer bound direct for QUEBEC or HALIFAX.
ALLAN STEAMSHIP COMPANY is under Contract with the Government of Canada for conveyance of the Mails between the two Countries.
The splendid Steamers of this Line LEAVE LIVERPOOL TWICE A-WEEK, and afford most eligible conveyance for all classes of Passengers at as Low Rates as by any first-class Line crossing the Atlantic. The voyage to Quebec has distinguished recommendations. From land to land the average passage is not more than six days. Once within the Straits of Belle Isle, ocean travelling is over, and for hundreds of miles the steamer proceeds, first through the Gulf, and then through the magnificent River St. Lawrence. This is an immense advantage.
The Quickest Passage on record from Liverpool to Quebec was made in June, 1879, by the "SARDINIAN" of this Line, and is quite an event in the annals of the Atlantic steamship trade. She left Moville at 5 15 P.M. on June 6th, and landed her Mails at Rimouski at noon on the 13th, being 6 days 23 hours and 30 minutes, allowing for difference of time. The passage from Moville to Belle Isle was accomplished in 5 days 20 minutes, and land was only lost sight of for 4 days 19 hours. Every person who has crossed the Atlantic knows how welcome the sight of land is to passengers, even on a voyage of eight or nine days. The journey to any part of the West is easily accomplished by this route, and the traveller can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the River St. Lawrence, Lake Ontario with its famous Thousand Islands, and the Falls of Niagara by the way.
Allan Line announcemant 1883



Advert, Allan Line, 1883 The Best Way to Reach America.

WHEN the emigrant has made up his mind to make CANADA OR THE UNITED STATES his home, and fixed on a date of departure, he should go to the nearest Emigration Agent representing the "Allan" Line of Steamers, and procure his ticket. It is always best for a passenger to secure his ticket before leaving home, because he ensures being met in Liverpool by an appointed Agent of the Company, who takes charge of him until he is on board the steamer.

To those making Canada their Home.

Depots or stations for the reception of Emigrants are provided at Quebec, Halifax, Sherbrooke, Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto, Hamilton, London (Ontario), and Winnipeg (Manitoba). The stations are arranged in such manner as to afford Emigrants accommodation for refreshing themselves, and there are proper places for stowing luggage, &c. An officer of the Government travels with Emigrants on the trains, to see that their wants are properly provided for, and that they are not subjected to any imposition on the road.

Persons who should Emigrate.

The classes recommended to emigrate to Canada are: Persons with capital, either in large or small amounts, seeking investment. Tenant farmers with limited capital, who can buy and stock a freehold estate with the money needed to carry on a small farm in England. Agricultural labourers, skilled and unskilled, for whom there is a large and increasing demand. Mechanics of various descriptions, but more particularly blacksmiths, carpenters, railway navvies, shoemakers, tailors, printers, stonecutters and masons, gardeners, bricklayers, millwrights and machinists, for whom there is a demand. The field for mechanics is not so unlimited as that for agricultural and other labourers. As many of the latter as can go out, at the proper season, will be sure to find good employment.

Canada offers great facilities for flax growers, dressers, growers &c., but this industry requires to be developed; also for domestic servants, needle-women, and boys and girls over 15 years of age. Families with fixed incomes will find in Canada, with much less difficulty than amidst the crowded population of the mother country, a suitable and pleasant home, with every facility for educating and starting their children in life. Persons living on the interest of their money can easily get from 7 to 8 per cent., on first-class security. Money deposited in the Post Office Savings Banks (Government security) draws 4 per cent. interest. The rate allowed for the deposit of money on call in other savings banks is from 4 to 5 per cent., with saving security.

The Time to Emigrate.

The agricultural labourer should, if possible, leave home the beginning of March, so as to arrive in Canada towards the end of that month, to be ready for the very opening of the agricultural season. On arrival of the steamers at Quebec, the railway trains come alongside the vessels at the wharf, and passengers and their baggage are transferred free, and thus, by this arrangement, ALL INCIDENTAL EXPENSES ARE SAVED. The same regulation as to the transfer of passengers and baggage is in operation at Halifax. In addition to this the, railway authorities are advised as soon as the steamships pass Father Point, and arrangements are made so that the passengers may be sent on to their destinations without delay. This information is also telegraphed to the Emigrant Agents at Quebec and Toronto, and these gentlemen are prepared by the time passengers arrive to aid and assist emigrants when necessary.

The passenger who is destined for Canada must take care that the steamer he intends to buy his passage in sails direct for Canada.

Intermediate & Steerage Stewardesses.

The Owners of the "Allan" Line, being desirous to promote, as far as possible, the comfort of their Passengers, have appointed INTERMEDIATE AND STEERAGE STEWARDESSES to each of their vessels, to attend to the wants of Female Passengers and Children during the voyage. This arrangement cannot fail to be appreciated by all who travel by this Line.

Bill of Fare for Intermediate Passengers.

Bill of Fare for Intermediate Passengers, 1883

INTERMEDIATE PASSENGERS ARE PROVIDED WITH BEDS, BEDDING, AND ALL NECESSARY UTENSILS, WASH-BASINS, ETC. The attention of Passengers is directed to the fact, that the Intermediate is only an improved Steerage, and that it in no way resembles a Cabin Passage. The intermediate Passengers are subject to the same Rules and Regulations as the Steerage.

Steerage Bill of Fare.

Sunday, —BREAKFAST, 7-30 a.m. —Coffee, Milk and Sugar, Fresh Bread and Butter. DINNER, 12 Noon —Soup, Fresh Beef, Potatoes, Plum Pudding and Sauce. TEA, 5 p.m.—Tea,. Milk and Sugar, Bread and Butter.
Monday, —BREAKFAST —Coffee, Milk and Sugar, Fresh Bread and Butter. DINNER —Soup, Beef and Potatoes. TEA, —Tea, Milk and Sugar, Fresh Bread and Butter.
Tuesday, —BREAKFAST —Oatmeal Porridge and Syrup, —Coffee, Milk and Sugar, Fresh Bread and Butter. DINNER —Pea Soup, Salt Pork and Potatoes. TEA —Tea, Milk and Sugar, Fresh Bread and Butter.
Wednesday, — BREAKFAST — Coffee, Milk and Sugar, Fresh Bread and Butter. DINNER —Soup, Beef and Potatoes, Plum Pudding and Sauce. TEA —Tea, Milk and Sugar, Fresh Bread and Butter.
Thursday, —BREAKFAST — Coffee, Milk and Sugar, Fresh Bread and Butter. DINNER —Soup, Fresh Beef and Potatoes. TEA —Tea, Milk and Sugar, Fresh Bread and Butter.
Friday, — BREAKFAST — Oatmeal Porridge and Syrup, Coffee, Milk and Sugar, Fresh Bread and Butter. DINNER —Pea Soup, Ling Fish and Sauce, Salt Pork and Potatoes. TEA —Tea, Milk and Sugar, Fresh Bread and Butter.
Saturday, BREAKFAST —Coffee, Milk and Sugar, Fresh Bread and Butter. DINNER —Soup, Beef and Potatoes. TEA —Tea, Milk and Sugar, Fresh Bread and Butter.


Intermediate and Steerage Passengers are allowed ten cubic feet for Luggage for each adult; for all over that quantity a charge of 1s. for each cubic foot will be made. All boxes and luggage should be plainly marked with the passenger's name, and the place he is going to. Care should be taken to do this. Luggage will be stowed away in the hold of the vessel so whatever is wanted on the voyage should be put into a trunk, which the passenger will take with him into his sleeping compartment. The personal effects of emigrants are not liable to Customs duty in Canada. Excess of luggage (unless very bulky) is seldom charged for on the Canadian railways. During the Passage.

As soon as the passenger gets on board, he should read the Rules he is expected to obey whilst at sea. He will find them hung up in the steamer, and should do his best to carry them out; and to be well-behaved, and keep himself clean, as this will add much to his own comfort and health, and also to the comfort and health of others. Tools.

Agricultural labourers need not take their tools with them, as these can be easily got in Canada, of the best description, and in almost all cases better suited to the wants of the country than those which they have been accustomed to use at home.

Mechanics are advised to take such tools as they have, particularly if specially adapted to their trades. They must, however, bear in mind that there is no difficulty in buying any ordinary tools in the principal towns of Canada at reasonable prices, and that it is better to have the means of purchasing what they want, after reaching their destination, than to be hampered with a heavy lot of luggage on their journey through the country.

Advice on Arrival in Canada.

When passengers land either at Quebec or Halifax, they should immediately consult with the Government Emigration Agent, who will give them the best advice as to their movements for settlement or obtaining employment.

Passengers arriving at Quebec or Halifax, holding through tickets, and wanting to get information, may delay their journey for that purpose, as the railway or steamboat company will take charge of their luggage until they are ready to proceed.

Those who go out to join friends or relations already settled in the country, should proceed at once to their final destination. Passengers should be careful to have their luggage properly checked, and the railway company will then be responsible for it.

Rates of Wages in Canada.

Wages in Canada depend a good deal on the calling and capabilities of the individual. And the inducement to go to Canada is not simply higher wages and good living among kindred people under the same flag, in a naturally rich country, possessing a pleasant and healthy climate, but the confident hope which the poorest may have of becoming a landowner, and, while securing a competence for himself, he may comfortably settle his children in a manner he could not hope to do among the crowded population of the old world.

Very many thousands of people who emigrated to Canada only a very few years ago, landed in that country without any means whatever, but are now comparatively wealthy.

Extract from a Speech delivered by the Earl of Dufferin, Governor- General of Canada :
—"Much depends upon the individual training, capacity, health, conduct, and antecedents of each several emigrant …
but this, at all events, I may say, wherever I have gone I have found numberless persons who came to Canada without anything and have since risen to competence and wealth, that I have met no one who did not gladly acknowledge himself better off than on his first arrival, and that amongst thousands of persons with whom I have been brought into contact, no matter what their race or nationality, none seemed ever to regret that they bad come here. This fact particularly struck me on entering the log huts of the settlers in the more distant regions of the country. Undoubtedly their hardships have been very great, the difficulties of climate and locality frequently discouraging, their personal privations most severe, yet the language of all was identical — evincing, without exception, pride in the past, content with the present, hope in the future…
Probably the agricultural labourer who comes to this country from Norfolk or Dorchester will have to work a great deal harder than ever he worked in his life before, but if his work is harder he will find a sweetener to his toil of which he could never have dreamt in the old country — namely, the prospect of independence — of a roof over his head for which he shall pay no rent, and of ripening corn fells round his homestead which own no master but himself. Let a man be sober, healthy, and industrious, let him come out at a proper time of the year, let him be content with small beginnings and not afraid of hard work, and I can scarcely conceive how he should fail in his career."

Besides the large demands of farmers for labourers in different parts of the country, extensive public works are about to be undertaken, which will very much increase that demand.

Cost of Living.

The average price of provisions in Canada may be stated as follows : — Butchers' meat averages from 7 to 10 cents per lb.; fowls, 40 to 50 cents per couple; geese, 40 to 50 cents each; turkeys, $1; eggs, 35 to 40 cents per dozen; butter, 15 to 25 cents per lb.; potatoes, 12 to 25 cents per bushel; flour, $6 to $7 per barrel; tea, 50 to 75 cents per lb.; sugar, 8 to 15 cents per lb. Rents are moderate; and good board and lodging may be obtained for about $3 per week. Good clothing, suitable to the country, may be obtained at moderate prices. Tweeds are cheaper in Canada, and good boots and shoes are made by machinery at moderate prices. In short, Canada is a cheap place to live in.

To Tenant Farmers.

Improved farms, with dwellings and farm buildings, can be purchased at from £4 to £10 sterling per acre, or for the amount required to carry on a leased farm in Great Britain. The money can nearly always be paid in installments, covering several years. The leasing of farms is an exception to the general rule, as most men desire to own the land they cultivate. There is no class to which Canada offers a better field than to the tenant farmers of Great Britain and Ireland who are anxious to change their condition of leaseholders to that of owners of the soil. Canada is so comparatively close to England, and the means of intercommunication are so numerous and expeditious, that the Dominion is supplying the home market with farm produce as readily as did Ireland twenty years ago, and with far more profit to the producer. The superiority of Canadian produce has now been fully established.

Farmers in England will find some difficulty in the future in successfully competing with their brethren in Canada in supplying the home markets. A very large percentage of the Canadian farmers are their own landlords; taxation is light, Canada being the lightest taxed country in the world; no oppressive game laws.

The winter wheat of Ontario, exhibited at the Paris World's Exhibition, in 1867, took the first prize; and at the fruit show in Boston, U.S., in 1873, the largest ever held, Canada took the first prize for outdoor hardy grapes and plums, and six medals for peaches, pears, &c., in competition with each and all of the States of the American Union.

13,659,949 lbs. of Canadian butter and 35,427,157 lbs. of cheese were shipped to Great Britain in 1877. The exportation of Canadian cheese since 1869 shows the immense increase of 33,197,551 lbs., or 737 per cent.

It is a remarkable fact that the foot-and-mouth disease is utterly unknown in Canada. Nothing approaching an epidemic of any kind has ever attacked Canadian cattle. Free Grants of Land, varying from 160 to 200 acres, are granted in the various provinces of the Dominion - on conditions of settlement.


"The Marquis of Lorne made a farewell address to his late constituents in Inverary, recently, in which, after referring to home politics, he said that we should judge the wishes of the colonies not from our point of view, but from that of their interests, and also from that of the well-being of the whole Empire. He then spoke at length on the importance of Canada as a field for the settlement of agriculturists and others similarly employed, and the rapidity with which the country is being opened and cultivated. Plenty of men would do well if they could hold a plough, and follow the gallant example of their countrymen who had done glory to the old land in forming another great British nation. The settlers in the agricultural regions of Western Canada are likely to live longer and be happier than was the lot of the great majority of mankind."

"I spoke to several inhabitants of Muskoka Free Grant District, and they seemed to me not only well satisfied, but proud of their success. They certainly had to work hard at first, but in a few years — four or five — they were independent. A farmer with a few hundred pounds can buy a farm in good working order in the older districts. Capitalists can get at least eight per cent for their money."

I have found Canada a very happy and pleasant country to live in. I don't think I can be deceived in saying the farmers of Canada are a prosperous race." In the North American Review for September, 1877, the Hon. David A. Wells writes as follows :-
"North of Lakes Erie and Ontario and the River St. Lawrence, east of Lake Huron, south of the 45th parallel, and included; mainly within the present Dominion Province of Ontario, there is as fair a country as exists on the North American continent nearly as large as Pennsylvania, Now York, and Ohio combined, and equal if not superior to these States in its agricultural capacity. It is the natural habitation on this continent of the combing wool sheep, without a full, cheap, and reliable supply of the wool of which species our great worsted manufacturing interest cannot prosper, or, we should rather say, exist. It is the land where grows the finest barley, which the brewing interest of the United States must have if it ever expects to rival Great Britain in its present annual export of over $11,000,000 of malt products. It raises and grazes the finest cattle, with qualities especially desirable to make good the-deterioration of stock in other sections; and its climatic conditions, created by an almost encirclement of the great lakes, especially fit it to grow men. Such a country is one of the greatest gifts of Providence to the human race; better than Bonanzas of silver or rivers whose sands contain gold."



For small change, the Halfpenny sterling is 1 cent, and the Penny sterling is 2 cents. For arriving roughly at the approximate value of larger figures, the Pound sterling may be counted at 5 Dollars. This sign ($) is used to indicate the dollar.

February 3, 1877.
To the Editor of the "Swindon Advertiser."
SIR. —For the benefit of my fellow working men I am induced to give my experience as a working man in Canada, and to point out the way to get there. I left Liverpool on the 17th September, 1874, by the Allan Line Royal Mail Steamer "Polynesian". There were a large number of passengers on board this splendid steamer, all of whom spoke in very high terms of the treatment they received. The provisions were good - we had as much beef as we could wish for. The stewards were very attentive. There was an experienced doctor on board, as there is on all the steamers of this line, but his services were never once required. I had been an agricultural labourer in England, and had to go out as an assisted passenger. I came home from Canada in January this year, by the Allan Mail Steamer "Sarmatian", on a visit to my parents and friends. I met with the same good treatment during the voyage as when I went out. I mention this so fully because a good many think that an ocean passage is very terrible. To such I say — not if you go by the Allan Line. I have lived in Canada about two years and a-half, and the best proof I can give of its being a good country is that I am going back in the spring, and I can honestly say that a sober, hard-working man, who is willing to adapt himself to the ways of the country, can scarcely fail to succeed.
I remain, Sir, yours truly,

75, London Road, Spalding,
31st January, 1877.
[We publish the above letter with very much pleasure, inasmuch as we are enabled to corroborate the writer in every particular, on a matter with which there is associated a very large amount of misapprehension. There is really nothing to fear in an Atlantic voyage in ships like those of the Allan Line, and the journey may be taken with as much safety and enjoyed with as much comfort, as a journey on an English railway. We think this cannot be too widely known, for the advantages offered to "sober, hard-working men, who can adapt themselves to the ways of the country," by Canada, are so great that it is nothing short of a misfortune to any man to be stopped from embarking in the venture by an idea so radically wrong as that an Atlantic passage by a first-class line of ships must be, as our correspondent puts it, "very terrible." Were it not that we happened to know of our own knowledge of many similar instances, where labouring men have gone out to Canada almost penniless, and have been able, after two or three years, to visit the old country at a considerable cost—the thing is so utterly unlike what working men in England can afford to do — we should have been tempted to doubt our correspondent's statement on this point.—ED. S. A.]

(Extract from Leading Article in " Times," London, Oct. 24th, 1879).
"It is unquestionable that the facility for acquiring land in the United States has been the main reason why our agriculturists have gone thither. The same reason will continue to be potential in the cases of any who may now think of improving their condition by a change of country and of nationality. Liberal though the provisions of the United States' Homestead Act are, yet they involve on the part of our countrymen who profit by them a renunciation of their birthright as citizens of the British Empire. This is a sacrifice even more keenly felt by most of them than severance from the place of their birth, and beginning life anew in a strange land. This consideration has induced many emigrants to prefer the long voyage to New Zealand or one of the Australian Colonies to the far shorter trip across the Atlantic. The Dominion of Canada has always invited immigrants, but till recently that splendid country had nothing to offer which could rival the prairie States of the far West. All this is changed, however, and the emigrant can now find in Canada as great inducements to settle there as Minnesota, or any other State in the Union, can offer. The Canadians, if more scrupulous, are less energetic in advertising their country than the citizens of the North American Republic. Conterminous with Minnesota is the Province of Manitoba."

"The area of Manitoba is but small in comparison with that of some Western States; yet it is twice as large as Massachusetts, and it can support many millions of people, and furnish a large surplus of grain for exportation Manitoba is but a single province in a territory which is open and ready for settlement — a territory covering 380,000 square miles, exceeding in extent France and Germany combined, and equal in fertility to any corresponding tract on the globe. In the Canadian North-West there is a Homestead Act under which the settler is treated still more generously than in the United States. He pays but $10 for his title to the 160 acres which are granted to him on condition that he resides there three years, and he can obtain another piece of equal area on paying $1 an acre. At the period of obtaining the land absolutely, he must be a British subject by birth or naturalization; this provision is one which gives the immigrants from the old country no concern. We do not advocate any measure of wholesale emigration, because we entertain the confident expectation that brighter days are in store for the suffering agriculturists in this country. The present crisis will pass away as other times of trial have done, and will leave behind it some profitable, if bitter and trying, lessons. Yet our fellow- countrymen, who are discontented with their lot — who have a practical knowledge of farming — who possess a little capital, and who are resolved to emigrate — will do well to inquire whether the prairie lands of Canada are not superior in some respects to those of the United States."

SAILING from Liverpool in the Allan steamship Peruvian on the 12th dlay of August last, I landed in Quebec on the 21st of the same month. I then proceeded by way of Montreal to Ottawa, steaming up the Ottawa river; I afterwards went to Toronto, and from thence, by way of the Great Lakes, to Manitoba, which was the extent of my journey westwards. Returning eastwards, I spent a considerable time in the Province of Ontario, leaving it at last reluctantly. I then proceeded to the Provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia, and my impressions of each of these will be found in my report.* Having spent exactly ten weeks in the country, I sailed from Quebec on 30th October, and arrived in Liverpool on the 8th day of November. On this occasion I took passage on the Allan mail boat Moravian, and I may now take the opportunity of expressing a high, opinion of the great care and skill with which these vessels are navigated, the comfortable and elegant manner in which, they are fitted up, the attention which the passengers get from the stewards, the courtesy which they never fail to receive from the officers of the vessels, and of the general cleanliness, neatness, and order which reign everywhere on board. Going out on the Peruvian we bad a large number of emigrants as steerage and intermediate passengers; and through the courtesy of Captain Smith, who personally conducted me over the ship, being clearly familiar with every detail of its management, I was enabled to inspect the emigrants' quarters. I wish here to bear testimony to the cleanliness and airiness of the sleeping rooms, to the excellent quality of the food supplied, and to the order, neatness, and discipline which, prevailed throughout. To cross the great Atlantic in these boats is, in fact, a much easier, simpler, and pleasanter thing than people think; and if it really is the case that many persons, particularly females, are deterred from going to Canada on account of the voyage, I may here say that there is really nothing formidable in it at all. After a safe and, rapid voyage, emigrants and settlers in her Majesty's Canadian Territory will meet with every attention, and receive the most ample instructions, from the agents of the Dominion Government, who are stationed at every necessary place for the purpose of giving assistance to those who need it.NOTE. - The Pamphlet embodying Professor Sheldon's Report can be had on application.

Allan Line picture gallery