The Emigrant’s Friend or Authentic Guide, 1848

Extract’s from “The Emigrant’s Friend or Authentic Guide”, mainly addressed emigration to the Australian Colonies and New Zealand, but some advice would be suitable for all emigrants around 1848, posted by Margaret Smith to the Y-IRL list.

Article: Government Emigration Agents in Ireland included:
Lieut. HENRY, R.N., Dublin
Lieut. FRIEND, R.N., Cork
Lieut. STARK, R.N., Belfast
Mr LYNCH, R.N., Limerick
Lieut. SHUTTLEWORTH, R.N. } Sligo, Donegal, Ballina
Lieut. MORIARTY, R.N. } &c
Lieut. RAMSAY, R.N., Londonderry
Commander ELLIS, R.N., Waterford
“”These officers act under the immediate directions of the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners, and the following is a summary of their duties:-
They procure and give gratuitously information as to the sailing ships, and means to accommodation for emigrants; and whenever applied to for that purpose, they see that all agreements between ship-owners, agents, or masters and intending emigrants are duly performed. They also see that the provisions of the Passengers’ Act are strictly complied with, viz., that passenger-vessels are sea-worthy, that they have on board a sufficient supply of provisions, water, medicines, &C., and that they sail with proper punctuality…””

(Note: Bounty lists still exist in Australia, however very few Agents Lists exist. (ie: Bounty lists were made when emigrants arrived in Australia, noting ship, age, native place, calling, qualities, abilities, religion, literacy, health, parents and siblings, and referees’ names if available. Some have Work Agreements with their new employers.
Agents lists were lists of emigrants collected before departing from the UK)

The question you still ask yourself:
What should I pack?
“”Single Man’s Outfit to Australia:
2 beaverteen jackets, 1 to be warmly lined,
2 ditto trowsers, 1 ditto waistcoat with sleeves,
1 ditto without sleeves,
2 duck frocks, 2 duck trowsers,
1 Scotch cap, or thresher’s hat, 1 Brazil straw hat,
6 striped cotton shirts,
1 pair of boots, 1 pair of shoes,
4 handkerchieves, 4 worsted hose, 2 cotton hose,
1 pair braces, 3 towels, razor, shaving box and glass

Single Woman’s Outfit to Australia:
1 warm cloak with a cape, 2 bonnets, 1 small shawl,
1 stuff dress, 2 print ditto, 6 shifts,
2 flannel petticoats, 1 stuff ditto, 1 pair of stays,
4 pocket handkerchieves, 2 net ditto for neck, 3 caps,
4 night caps, 4 sleeping jackets, 2 black worsted hose,
4 cotton ditto, 2 pairs of shoes, 6 towels.

Each person would also require:-
1 knife and fork, 1 table-spoon, 1 tea-spoon,
1 deep tin plate, 1 pint tin drinking mug,
2 lbs of marine soap, 1 comb and hair brush,
1 pair of sheets, 2 pots of blacking
* 2 shoe brushes, * 1 pair of blankets, * 1 counterpane,
* 1 strong chest with lock.
* a married couple require only one set of these items.

Cost of above outfit for a single man, abt £4.10s
Ditto ditto Single woman: £5
Ditto ditto Married couple: £9
Cost of an Outfit for Children varies with their size.””

“”Take nothing cumbrous, no large agricultural implements, no furniture, no goods to sell; but having an idea of future prospects, take a few small tools and iron work such as gimlets, hammers, reaping hooks, scythe blades, rubbers to sharpen scythes, an ax or two, some nails, hinges for gates and doors, latches, saws, garden tools; and of wearing articles, particularly take stockings and shoes which are always dear; take also needles, thread, tape, string, cotton, knives and forks, spectacles, (if you need them), powder and shot for a gun, if you can afford it, blue and white crockery; it is right to take a little stationery; and if you posses a house here, there are of course, many small articles of value, which will be worth carrying: but above all things, do not over-load yourself with useless articles, as when you get there you may find yourself obliged to travel a hundred miles or more, or you may find them even cheaper there than here – keep your money then, that is useful every where and easily carried.

Plants and seeds may be procured at all the colonies, but if you desire to take any from England, the seeds should be packed thus:- wrap each kind in small quantities of tin foil or thin lead, but the former is the best; procure a small barrel, according to the quantity altogether which you have, lay a little moist sugar, then some packets of seeds, then a layer of sugar, then of seeds, and so on until the barrel or box is full, when it should be headed up or covered. In this way, seeds will keep during the longest voyage…………….

Living plants, cuttings or vines, &c. may be carried thus:- remove the plants with the roots as perfect as possible, wrap up these roots in moss, then place them close together in the bottom of a box, the tighter they are together the better; if cuttings are to be carried also make a cross division in the box, fill one space with wet sand or earth, stick the cuttings in about half an inch apart, cover the sand between them with moss, and tie the moss over with string, so that neither the plants or cuttings be disturbed, even should the box be turned over, water the whole well, but fit a glass lid to the box, so that no air can get in, or moisture get out, and the plants will carry safely; making however, a small hole at the bottom to let off the superfluous moisture, and a small hole near the top, as a vent; otherwise, the air, when heated, may burst the glass cover””

“”One caution …..Let not the inquirer be led away by false information; companies, ship owners, and others have too often too deep an interest in recommending a colony, to do so with candour or truth….. Nor yet should the emigrant be tempted by the cheapness of land alone; in many a district of Australia it takes four acres to keep a sheep, and twenty to feed an ox.
In Texas, many millions of acres, represented by flaming advertisements as of the richest and most healthy are an uncultivatable swamp, abounding in deadly exhalations. In Halifax, all is a forest – gloomy – worthless – and for eight months in the year is ice-bound. So much for cheap lands….””

The remainder of the booklet is more specific to Australia and New Zealand.

Post 2:

This is another extract from “” The Emigrant’s Friend”” or Authentic Guide to emigrating to South Australia, Sydney (NSW), Port Phillip (Victoria), Swan River Colony (W.A), Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) and New Zealand, which “”may be had of all booksellers”” back in 1848.

Placing this extract in historical context: South Australia, an infant colony was the main emphasis, as an exciting new proposition; Sydney was already well established, and finding new land to settle meant travelling 300 to 400 miles away; Victoria was encouraged but “”still a village””; W.A., considered 25 years before “”to have such golden hopes””, but now considered “”far inferior””. Tasmania was still the colony jail, but poor Brisbane was not even worthy of a mention.

The provision furnished to the passenger is always, even to the poorest, quite sufficient to preserve health. Of necessity, it is of a different nature from that we have been accustomed to on shore. Neither fresh meat nor vegetables (except potatoes of itself) makes a great difference, the frequent use of peas and rice, also of biscuit instead of bread, no beer, &c produces a great change, so that persons often are affected for a time with trifling disagreements of the system; children particularly suffer from sea sickness. We strongly advise the Emigrant to take a few trifles with him, to add to his comforts. According to his purse, he should furnish with some additional potatoes, candles, preserved meats, jams, butter, ham, cheese, a ship candle lamp, 100 eggs preserved in a keg of salt, any fruit he can get, particularly apples, some bottled porter, some good biscuits, by no means forgetting some cakes of gingerbread for the children, a good packet of soda powders, or ginger beer powders, these, with lump sugar, tea, some red herrings, lemons, &c, will make him very comfortable.

is, for the steerage, from £15 to £20 – for intermediate passengers about £35 or £40 – and for cabin passengers from £60 to £75. This, in every case, includes provisions. The last are fed with very great comfort, though neither beer, wine or spirits are included. Unless an Emigrant goes out as a gentleman, and has money to spare, it is far the best for him to take or hire a certain portion of the steerage room, and partly fit it up himself; this, together with the above supply of extra comforts, will make him much more comfortable on his voyage than were he to enter as an intermediate passenger; and if he fears to mix with the steerage passengers, lest his pride may be wounded, the sooner he get rid of such English notions, the better for his future comfort and prosperity; and even in this case, the probability is, that he will find other voyages in the steerage, richer and wiser than himself, and quite as amiable as are usually in the intermediate deck.””

The Commissioners are enabled to grant free passages to those Colonies only which provide the necessary funds for the purpose. These funds, which in the Australian Colonies are derived from sale and rents of Crown lands, are intended not for purposes of relief to persons in this country, but to supply the Colonies with the particular description of labour of which they stand most in need. New South Wales and South Australia are at present the only Colonies which supply the means of Emigration.””

The following are the regulations:-

1] The Emigrants must chiefly be agricultural labourers, shepherds and female domestic and farm servants. A few mechanics may also be accepted, such as blacksmiths, wheelwrights, carpenters, &c. All the adults must be capable of labour, and must be really people of the above description working for wages, and going out with the intention of settling in the Colony.

2] Persons intending to buy land in the Colony, or to invest a small capital in trade there, are not eligible for a free passage, nor are their families; nor yet reduced tradesmen and persons resident in a workhouse, or in the habitual receipt of parish relief.

3] The Emigrants must consist principally of married couples, not above 40 years of age at their last birth-day; but for every child above 14, an excess of one year will be allowed in age of the parents, if they are still hale and capable of labour. The candidates most acceptable are young married couples without children.””

“”4] No family can be allowed free passage to Australia which includes more than two children under under 7, or more than three under 10 years of age; but in particular cases, families having more than this number of children will be accepted on the condition of their paying for the children above the prescribed number at the rate of £7 each. The separation of parents from children under 18 will in no case be allowed.””

5] Single women, under 18, without their parents, are not admissable, unless they are Emigrating under the immediate care of some near married relatives, or are under engagement as domestic servants to ladies going out as cabin passengers in the same ship. They cannot be accepted if above 35 years of age.

6] Single men must be between 18 and 35 years of age. No greater number can be taken than of single women in the same ship. If named by a person who has deposited money in this country for the purchase of land, they can only be accepted if eligible in other respects, in case the same party has named an equal number of single women who conform to Regulation 5.

7] All emigrants, adult as well as children, must have been vaccinated, or have had the small-pox.

8] Good character is indispensable, and decisive certificates will be required both to this point and also to competence in the professional trade or calling of the proposed Emigrant.

9] Form of Application:- All applications must be made in a form to be obtained at the office of the Commissioners, which must be duly filled up and attested, as explained in the form itself, and then forwarded to this office, with baptismal and marriage certificates. The nomination of labourers for a free passage by land purchasers will be subject to the approval of the Commissioners, whose answer must be received before the Emigrants are led to make any preparation.

10] Before the embarkation order, entitling them to a passage is issued, £2 must be paid for every person above 14, and £1 for every child above 1 and under 14, which will be retained to meet the expense of bedding and mess utensils supplied by the Commissioners, and as some security that the people will come forward to embark.

11] If any Emigrants fail to attend at the appointed time and place for embarkation, they will never again be allowed a free passage, and will forfeit one moiety of any money that may have been paid, unless they give to the Commissioners, timely notice, and a satisfactory reason for their inability to proceed.

12] Provisions, medical attendance, and cooking utensils will be provided by the Commissioners; also new matresses, bolsters, blankets and counterpanes, canvas bags to contain linen, &c., knives and forks, spoons, metal plates, and drinking mugs, which articles may be kept by the Emigrants after arrival in the Colony, provided they behave well on the voyage.

13] The emigrants must bring their own clothing, which will be inspected at the port by an officer of the Commissioners; and all parties are particularly desired to observe that they will not be allowed to embark unless they provide themselves with a sufficient supply for their health during the voyage.

14] It is desirable that Emigrants should take out with them the necessary tools of their trades; bulky agricultural implements, however, cannot be admitted, on account of their inconvenient size and weight; neither can furniture be received on board; matresses especially, and feather beds are strictly prohibited.

15] The whole quantity of baggage for each adult Emigrant must not measure more than 20 cubic or solid feet, nor exceed half a ton weight. It must be divided into two or three boxes, the contents of which, must be closely packed, so as to save space in the ship. Large packages and extra baggage will not be taken unless paid for, and then only in case there be room in the ship.

16] Only luggage really belonging to each family of passengers can be taken. If anyone should attempt to impose on the Commissioners by letting the baggage of other persons, not members of their family, go under his name, he will forfeit his passage, and not be suffered to proceed.

17] On arrival in the Colony, the Emigrants will be at perfect liberty to engage themselves to anyone willing to employ them, and to make their own bargain for wages. No re-payment in service or otherwise is required from them for the passage out. The only return expected is a strict observance, on board, of the regulations framed with a view to their health and comfort during the voyage, and general good conduct and industrious habits in the Colony.””

Margaret Smith
Mardi, NSW