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Emigration to Canada – how others see us, Montreal, 1869

Montreal Gazette, 11 August 1869, page 3

Emigration to Canada

How Others See Us

Experience of a recent influential visitor, what he saw in, and what he says of, Canada

A special meeting of the British and Colonial Emigration Fund was held at the Mansion-house, London on the 27th ult, the Lord Mayor presiding.  There were present, among others, Sir George Grey, late Governor of New Zealand, Mr Dixon, Canada emigration agent, Mr White, special emigration commissioner from Ontario, the Rev JF Kitto.

Mr EH Currie, a member of the committee, and long identified with the Poplar district as a large employer of labour, read an interesting account of a visit he had recently made to the Dominion of Canada, with the view of ascertaining with some exactitude the prospects of persons emigrating thither from the east of London. For that purpose he left Liverpool on the 23d of May last, and returned on the 16th of July.  He made Toronto his headquarters, and saw about 100 families who had emigrated from the east of London in a different district of Ontario. He also held meetings and addressed letters to the local papers on the object of his visit.  He travelled over many miles of country, and visited most of the principal towns, spent three days in the heart of the free grant district above Lake Muskoka, made the best use of this time in consulting farmers and others, losing no opportunity of ascertaining facts, and finally spent several days at Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec, and worked out the whole system of passing emigrants to their new homes, both at Quebec and New York.  He acknowledged the debt of gratitude he was under to many friends at Toronto and elsewhere, especially to the Government emigration officers, who placed every facility in his way.  The result he had arrived at was a conviction on his part that nearly all the emigrants aided by the charitable societies were not merely employed, by far the greater portion of them at farm work, but were perfectly happy and contented. Some naturally succeeded better than others, some few had been unfortunate, some were unthrifty and would not succeed anywhere, but they were exceptions.  Every able, industrious and sober man would get employment earn a livelihood, and in a few years make a provision for his family, but he must be prepared for some hardships at first.  He must take moderated wages until he become acquainted with the wages of the country.

Mr Currie thinks there is no country which affords so many instances of success in Canada. In nine cases out of ten failure is the fault of the emigrant himself. Emigrants whether with some money or not, must go determined to work for themselves.  All that is required is industry and sobriety.  An emigrant, unless going to friends, should pass on to Toronto at once, and put himself entirely in the emigration agent’s hands, and if offered employment at a fair rate, close with it for a year.  He urges every emigrant to get out of town as quickly as possible, to take work in country districts, food, rent and fuel being all much dearer in the towns. A mechanic he says, should take the first job offered to him, even at low wages, and he will in a short time get a better offer at his own trade, if he is worth it. Mr Currie dissuades an emigrant from taking a free grant of land.  He tells him to obtain employment on a farm till he has bought his experience of the country, and if he has a little money to put it in a savings bank for a year. With the exception of the small amount required for clothing, he can save all his wages and it is useless to settle in the bush unless he has £40 or £50 to carry him through the first year and to purchase tools. The farmers, he says, live well, the quantity of mess consumed is more a matter of taste than economy; vegetables and fruit are abundant and any quantity of milk is to be obtained. He met a farmer at Barrie on Lake Simcoe who had two Portsmouth men in his employ. They went out in the Crocodile. The farmer told him that at first, as might be expected, they were of little use to him.  They were greenhorns, as he expressed himself, but they meant to succeed and in a few weeks they got on so well that he had agreed with them for a year, at 22l 10s each, a house and their board being found them, the use of a cow for the children, and they had each half an acre of land, which he had ploughed for them.  They were quite contented and happy, and their employer said he had never had such men on his farm before. Mr Currie drove out, at the same place, to a charming little farm, to see a man from Wapping, who was working on the farm.  He had a comfortable house, and received a little better wages than the two from Portsmouth. He met another man who had gone out from Scotland a few years ago, worked for a time on the quay for his brother, and is now a substantial farmer.  Mr Currie adds that he could take dozens of similar instances from his notebook of people there whose only anxiety was that friends and relations should join them.  There is plenty of room, he says, for mechanics who know every part of their trade, and he has met with many who were quite contented, such as house-carpenters, bricklayers, stone-masons, blacksmiths, and coopers, but these men took the first offer, and are now thriving at their own trades. Canada, he adds, will find a home for any person, accustomed to manual labour, who does not see his way clearly to provide for himself and a family in the old country, and is industrious and sober.  This year 5 720 persons have passed through the hands of Mr Donaldson, the Government emigration officer at Toronto, up to June 17, besides large numbers who had been sent direct to Hamilton and elsewhere. On the 9th of June according to replies to a circular sent out in the spring by the Minister of Agriculture to the various townships in Ontario, asking for a return of persons required those townships still wanted 7 229 labourers, 420 mechanics, and 3423 domestic servants.  Some of the townships did not reply to the circular, and those who did so probably asked for a much smaller number than they could really absorb.

This was the substance of Mr Currie’s report read to the meeting yesterday, and at its conclusion a cordial vote of thanks was accorded to him.

Mr Dixon, emigration agent of the Canadian government took occasion to say that it was now late in the season for farm labourers to emigrate, but that tailors, shoemakers, harnessmakers, blacksmiths, and cabinet makers were in request.

Mr White, emigration commissioner from Ontario, corroborated Mr Dixon in that respect, and said as the winter business was about to commence, that class of artisans, and especially cabinet makers, shoemakers and tailors might be absorbed to a very considerable extent.

Before the meeting separated, a cordial vote of thanks was passed to the Marquis of Westminster for a second munificent donation of £1000 to the fund.  By the first donation of £1000 the committee had been able to despatch 300 emigrants, and by the second 200 more would be sent out in September.

On the motion of Sir George Grey, a resolution was unanimously adopted, expressive of the gratitude of the meeting to the agents of the Canadian government for the facilities they had afforded Mr Currie in attaining the objects of his mission.

The meeting then separated.

Presentation to Elizabeth Ogden, Three Rivers, 1871

Montreal Gazette, 20 April 1871, page 3


A deputation from the congregation and choir of St James Church, Three Rivers, waited on Miss Ogden on Saturday evening last, to present her with, a testimonial in consideration of her long, efficient and arduous services as organist and conductress of the choir.

The testimonial consisted of a valuable gold watch bearing the following inscription:



By the Congregation and Choir of

St James Church

Three Rivers, Easter of 1871

The congregation are much indebted to Miss Torrance and Miss C Jones for their assistance in carrying out their views in relation to the testimonial.

The following address was read by the Rector:


We appear before you as a deputation on behalf of the congregation and choir of St James’ Church.  They have been long solicitous to pay you a tribute of respect for your meritorious services in having so cheerfully and so constantly, (often in the midst of great discouragements) from a love of the work, and to assist the congregation in the inspiring services of the sanctuary.

From the great interest you have always taken in the welfare of the church of which you are a member, we feel assured you have been in some measure paid by the success which has attended your efforts; for there are few churches out of the larger cities that have so well organized a choir; and the Psalmody so properly rendered, which may be attributed to your fostering care, and the unceasing interest you have taken in it.

Appreciating these privileges, enjoying these advantages, we are pleased to have this opportunity of presenting you with this testimony of our good will and appreciation; at the same time we cannot but regret that it is inadequate to your merits. We hope, however, it will be a means, if possible, of strengthening that bond of union which has united us so long one to another as members of Christ’s Holy Catholic Church.

J Torrance,

Rec or on behalf of the congregation.


I accept with sincere gratification the valuable and elegant testimonial presented by you on behalf of St James’ Church.

To conduct the Psalmody of our solemn worship, I have ever esteemed a great privilege, yet cannot too highly prize the warm and generous expressions of appreciation emanating from those with whom I have been associated in the Sacred Services of our Holy Church.

Cheered and animated by such kind encouragement for the better performance of my responsible duties and with reiterated thanks, I remain,

Respectfully and faithfully yours,


Three Rivers, April 15, 1871.

Only Exclusive Menagerie on the Continent, Montreal, 1869

Montreal Gazette, 21 September 1869, page 4


500 wild beasts, birds and reptiles – including many specialties

Among which is

The only living giraffe in America

In Montreal for three days only – Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

September 27th, 28th and 29th



Henry Barnum …… Manager

The Largest Exhibition in the known world.

This gigantic establishment contains the most varied – [illegible]

……  4gaz21sep1869

Historic Plaque at Rasco’s Hotel, Montreal – Missing


In 1985 the St Andrew’s Society of Montreal was celebrating its 150th anniversary.  In honour of its anniversary and to commemorate its history in Old Montreal the society placed a historic plaque on the corner of the building which was Rasco’s Hotel, 281-295 rue St-Paul.

The plaque says this: [English portion]

The St Andrew’s Society of Montreal was founded in February 1835 to give aid to fellow Scots in distress.  The founding and subsequent regular meetings were held in Rasco’s Hotel.  It was in this building that the first St Andrew’s Day celebrations sponsored by the Society took place on November 30, 1835, under the chairmanship of the Society’s first president, the Hon Peter McGill, who later became Mayor of Montreal.

I was wandering around the streets of Old Montreal yesterday and went to my favourite haunts including Hotel Rasco.  And surprise – the plaque had been removed.



As archivist for the St Andrew’s Society of Montreal I was surprised.  You would imagine that the removal of our plaque would have been preceded by a phone call or email.  We are rather easy to find.  No such contact was made.

Questions, questions, questions. 

The most important of all – where is the plaque?  By fortune, luck, whatever, I was able to find it, while searching out other favourite spots.

I went to 443 St Vincent, which is about 3 blocks away from Rasco’s to the site of the Hotel Richelieu, where Sarah Bernhardt stayed in 1880.  And there it was, placed atop the historic plaque which said the hotel was built in 1861, and the part about Sarah Bernhardt.

It looks most peculiar; the plaque has nothing to do with the location, and the events it commemorated took place 26 years prior to its construction. The Society never met there, nor had events there.  It is completely out of place and context.


Who moved the plaque?  Why?  And why there?

Acock’s Green Star v Birchfield Villa, 1882

Birmingham Daily Post 17 January 1882 page 5


Acock’s Green Star v Birchfield Villa – These clubs met on the ground of the former Acock’s Green on Saturday last.  From the kick off the visitors pressed their opponents back to their own goal, and by half-time had scored three goals. After half-time the Birchfield repeated the same performance, and eventually won by six goals to nil.  The Star were penned in from beginning to end, and the score would have been increased but for their good goal-keeping.  The Birchfield goalkeeper only had to stop the ball once.  Teams: Acock’s Green Star: EJ Adams (goal); F Paulin (back); Jenkins, Parsons, and Preston (half-backs); Langley Stephens, Neal, EA Paulin, Playfair and Bradburn (forwards) – Birchfield Villa: Wigley (goal); Lamsdale (back); Green, Keen and Copley (half-backs); Bartlain, Harrison, Woddhall, Mayes, Horton and Morrison (forwards).

Hail Storm Insurance, Norwich et al, 1865

Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette, 4 June 1864, page 3


Bonus 1865


Hail Storm Insurance Society

Established 1843

Head Office – St Giles Street, Norwich

Wheat and other Growing Crops Insured at sixpence per acre.

Without limit as to quantity grown.

Glass in Green Houses &c, from 20s per cent

Bonus to Insurers every three years

Immediate payment in case of loss. Parties renewing their insurances this year will participate in the next division, which will take place in 1865.

Agents wanted

Apply to Chas S Gilman, Secretary

Abingdon – Francis King

Banbury – JG Rusher

Bicester – Wm Palmer

Brailes – Josh Godson

Buckingham – FW Baker

Burford – Thomas Streat

Chipping Norton – J Quatermain

Chipping Campden – Herbert King

Evesham – HW Price

Eynsham – John Ham

Henley – F Paulin

Highworth – JC Salmon

Hungerford – Chas Osmond

Moreton-in-the-March – T Perkins

Northampton – Abel and Sons

Reading – Edw Blackwell

Shipston-on-Stour – Henry Sale

Warwick – John Martetts






Presentation to Mr Paulin, Henley-on-Thames, 1871

Oxford Journal 9 September 1871 page 8

Corporation – at a meeting of the Corporation held on Tuesday last, Alderman Jas H Brooks was elected Mayor for the ensuing year, which commences on the 26th inst. At the same meeting was presented by the Mayor on behalf of the Corporation, to Mr Paulin, who has recently held the office of Treasurer, a copy of a resolution passed at a previous meeting, beautifully illuminated in gold and colours, framed and glazed, in recognition of his long services.  It was as follows: “At a meeting of the Corporation of Henley-on-Thames, held in the Council Chamber on the 15th of August 1871, it was resolved unanimously that this meeting desires to express its sense of valuable services Mr Paulin has rendered to this Corporation and to the town at large, by the very careful and assiduous way in which he has discharged the office of Treasurer of this Corporation and of the greater portion of the Charities under their control, for a period of eleven years. The gratuitous performance of those duties has involved great labour, and at times must have occasioned great anxiety.  In expressing their regret that, owing to failing health, Mr Paulin feels himself compelled to relinquish his onerous office, the Corporation venture to hope that he may be long spared to give his valuable assistance to their deliberations.  Wm T Hews, Mayor.”

Photo copyright Kathleen Paulin
Photo copyright Kathleen Paulin

Advice on talking to ladies, 19C

Gentlewomen Aim to Please: Edited from Victorian Manuels of Etiquette, Jerrard Tickell, London: George Routledge & Sons, 1933.


Do not use a classical quotation in the presence of ladies without apologizing for it, translating it.  Even this should only been done when no other phrase would so aptly express your meaning.  Whether in the presence of ladies or gentlemen, much display of learning is pedantic and out of place.

What to wear on your honeymoon, 19C

Gentlewomen Aim to Please: Edited from Victorian Manuels of Etiquette, Jerrard Tickell, London: George Routledge & Sons, 1933.


The dress of the bride during the honeymoon should be characterized by modesty, an attractive simplicity, and scrupulous neatness.  The slightest approach to slatternliness in costume, when all should be exquisitely trim from chevelure to chassure, would be an abomination, and assuredly beget a most unpleasant impression on the susceptible feelings of the husband.

[Because on your honeymoon it would be very bad to hurt the susceptible feelings of your husband with immodesty – after all honeymoons are all about being modest!]


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